Zucchini, olive and goat cheese bread Zucchini, olive and goat cheese bread Israeli Kitchen Photo: Miriam Kresh

Zucchini, olive and goat cheese bread

Think zucchini bread has to be sweet? Think again! This one is temptingly savory.

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  • Yield: 1 9x5” loaf
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

Instead of reaching for packaged cereal in the morning, try a slice of this moist, aromatic bread. With all the goodness of cheese and olives and black pepper, it gives you the feeling of having eaten real food, even if you just cut a slice and wolf it down on the run. On the other hand, if you have some leisure, it makes a nice brunch, with salad, an omelet and a cup of coffee.

This week, I had an evening class that was inconveniently scheduled at dinnertime. I knew I was going to feel frantically hungry by break time. There was a nice half loaf of this zucchini bread on the kitchen counter, so I cut a thick slice off and took it with me. Come break time, the other students trickled out to the cafeteria, keeping body and soul together with lattes and stale donuts. I broke up my zucchini bread with my fingers and ate it slowly, savoring it. Several people asked me what that delicious-looking “cake” was, and I let them taste. They, too, relished the spicy flavor and bits of olive and cheese studded throughout the bread. Everyone wanted the recipe! And now you have it.   

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (1 large zucchini or 2 small ones)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 additional teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, chopped into small dice or crumbled
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • More olive oil for greasing the pan and finishing the bread
  • A little extra flour for the pan
  • Coarse or kosher salt for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).

Smooth a film of olive oil all over the inside of the loaf pan. Shake a little flour over the inside, making sure every corner has its share of olive oil/flour coating.

Grate the zucchini coarsely, to obtain one cup. (Any leftover grated zuke, put into your next soup or fry it with onion and fill an omelet with it.) Put the grated zucchini into a sieve, add the teaspoon of salt to it, and mix gently. Put it aside to drain it of its moisture.

Have a large bowl and a medium bowl ready. In the large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Scrape the garlic into the dry mix and mix again thoroughly.

In the medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk and olive oil.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Don’t over-mix, or the bread will be tough. Add the goat cheese and olives; mix again, briefly but thoroughly.

Turn the grated zucchini over in its sieve, pressing down on it with a wooden spoon. Fold it into the batter.

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it out evenly. Dribble a little olive oil over the surface. Sprinkle with coarse salt for a surprising crunch. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cool on a rack 30 minutes before serving.

Tip: For variety, substitute feta for the goat cheese; use sliced green olives; omit the garlic and add 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions instead.

Related Topics: Baking

Recipes from the Israeli KitchenRecipes from the Israeli Kitchen
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