That’s right: More! Salad! I eat at least one salad a day. I love an elaborate, unusual one like Crack Salad or a Salad Treat, but most often it’s something simple, just some greens topped with whatever vegetables, nuts, and crumbles or shavings of cheese I’ve got lying around. Thus it was a pretty obvious subject when I started organizing the next issue of my digital magazine, Feast by Lukas. “Season’s Salads” has a melon salad spiked with ginger and fresh chilies, a smashed cucumber salad with a nubby sesame dressing, a pear and greens salad topped with savory granola, a torn tortilla salad with tomatoes, avocados, and a chili-lime vinaigrette, and several more.
This is the 4th issue of Feast by Lukas, which completes the first volume! It’s been so much fun and I feel like it’s starting to click. I hope you’ll check out Season’s Salads issue—the app is free to download in the iTunes store, and within it subscriptions and individual issues are available for purchase ($3.99/issue, or $13.99 for a yearly subscription). And if you’ve read it and like it (or don’t like it, that’s fine and fair), would you…. I hate asking for this, but…. give it a rating and/or review in the iTunes store?
But I thought it was time for a baked good around here, and this zucchini bread is one I’ve been playing with for a few years. I included it as a Coda to this Salads issue, since zucchini bread is the perfect baked good for the transition from summer to fall. It’s moist and hearty, perfumed with olive oil and garam masala, the North Indian spice blend. The sprinkling of coarse sugar on top creates a really irresistible, sweet and crunchy crust. It’s a perfect weekend baking project.
My Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 loaf
One note: Be sure to follow the spoon-and-level method for measuring your flour, and don’t make the mistake of using rolled oats instead of the instant (quick-cooking) ones—either error will make dry, dense zucchini bread. You can also use 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour in place of the white and whole-wheat flours listed below.
12 ounces firm zucchini (3 or 4 small to medium), grated (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup instant oats
2-1/2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as turbinado or demerara
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush an 8×4 loaf pan with olive oil and line with parchment paper.
Combine the grated zucchini with the salt and 1 tablespoon sugar in a colander. Let stand for 10 minutes, then extract most of the liquid by grabbing handfuls of the vegetable and squeezing, or pressing on it with a rubber spatula.
Whisk together the flours, oats, garam marsala, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well, then whisk in the olive oil, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Stir in the zucchini, followed by the dry ingredients, until just combined. Fold in the nuts.
Spread into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then lift out and cool completely before slicing.