Friday, July 9, 2010
It is obvious by now that I am trying to cook my way through Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain. There are some things in there that don't appeal to me all that much right now, but since I haven't set a time limit on working my way through the book, I'm sure I'll eventually try them. Every recipe I've made has been delicious (even the aesthetic failures).
I've got zucchini in my fridge. It's not that I don't like zucchini... but it's not my favorite, and it never has been. When we get zucchini in our CSA, I usually just leave it all with my mom - she and my sister love it. But somehow it's snuck into my home via my Nonna and her garden. She asked me if I wanted zucchini, and I, unable to refuse fresh local produce of any kind, said sure, I can take one, I'll make zucchini bread. She came back with this beastly monster - over a pound, maybe a pound and a half - so I made two batches of zucchini bread, and still haven't finished that one zucchini.
The zucchini bread from Good to the Grain is not your average zucchini bread. It uses mint and basil, infused into butter, and rye flour instead of your typical wheat. Most of my test subjects loved it - my mom and sister complained about the rye and said they wanted "normal" zucchini bread. (Make it yourself!) That did get me thinking, though, about possible variations - more about that later.
I truly love this bread. I think it's amazing. I wouldn't think of using rye flour in zucchini bread - but that's why I bought this book. I'm almost hesitant to even change the recipe - the whole book, organized by flour, already provides the best matches of flours to other ingredients. My first batch of this bread was a little minty - I measured more loosely in my second batch and it was just right. The headnotes suggest having a slice with a cup of mint tea, which sounds absolutely perfect to me. It's great to just have it around for a snack. I expect a loaf (or half a loaf) might freeze nicely as well, if tightly wrapped.
There is so much I want to do with this recipe. Leave it the same, but add walnuts. Sub some white whole wheat in for part or all of the all purpose flour (being cautious about the assertive taste wheat flour can bring to a recipe). An all whole wheat version. Bits of different flour. Multigrain flour mix instead of rye. The same basic structure, but with banana and walnuts instead of zucchini and herbs. There are so many possibilities...