Golden, tender quick bread with end-of-summer zukes and fresh corn.
By the end of summer, produce has had time to soak up all the sun and nutrients that man and nature offered. Markets are crowded with beautiful fruits and vegetables, and it’s only a matter of taking your choice. Fat squashes and corn cobs still in their green husks seem to be just waiting for you to come and pick them up.
And any home gardener knows that even one zucchini vine can produce overtime, leaving you with more of those lovely green squashes than you know what to do with.
One strategy is to leave a basketful by the door and not let visitors to leave without taking at least one (a trick my mom taught me). Even better, grate and freeze zucchini for the zuke-less winter.
Even if you depend on the local market for your fresh vegetables, it’s worth buying a few extra to freeze.
Another great thing is how good zucchini and corn taste together, each with their own kind of sweetness. This recipe combines their end-of-summer glory in a cornmeal-based quick bread. It’s not too sweet, and more crumbly than the usual sturdy cornbread. That’s because the zucchini and buttermilk make it tender, while fresh corn gives it a satisfying bite. Judging by the slices that disappear as it’s cooling on the kitchen counter, it’s a hit every time.
Honey contributes another kind of light sweetness to this recipe, and I particularly like the depth of its flavor. But feel free to swap the honey for brown or white sugar, if that’s your preference. A richer version calls for melted butter instead of vegetable oil, and that’s a real treat.
Frozen and canned corn also work here, but naturally their flavor and texture will be different from fresh. Here in Israel, zucchini are available most of the year, but fresh corn is a summer vegetable, so when it’s out of season, I’ve baked this bread with the frozen or canned versions, and it’s still very good.
This cornbread can be baked in a greased cast-iron skillet or in an 8x8” baking pan lined with baking parchment. I usually double the recipe and choose four 10” disposable loaf pans to bake in, which is convenient for freezing.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons light honey
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, steamed, or
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed, or
- 1/2 cup canned corn, drained
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Blend the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Add the buttermilk, oil and honey and mix well.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring lightly.
Stir the grated zucchini and corn kernels into the batter, mixing just long enough to distribute them throughout the batter. Don’t beat the batter or stir longer than needed, or the bread will be tough.
Pour batter into loaf pans.
Bake 25 minutes. Slice and serve warm.