My friend Maria – a wonderful Italian Chef, came over the other day. We are doing a joint class through the PC Cooking Schools called “Italy meets India” or “Ciao Namaste!” – a fusion class of Italian and Indian food, the menu – Bruschetta topping on Naan, Butter Chicken Ravioli – home made butter chicken, hand made pasta – did I even have to say that!?! – Maria’s specialty, and Mango Kulfi with Almond Brittle. We experimented with the menu as our first class is in Georgetown on August 13th. The formula works, the timing works – and yes, my wife was the beneficiary of the food experiments, I know, the sacrifices she makes for me! Yes, we are offering this class at a number of locations throughout the GTA and surround so check with your Loblaw’s or Superstore PC Cooking School or at the following link – Hope to see you there!

Now that the shameless self promotion is over. My other reason for telling you this is Maria brought over this large zucchini – no I mean it, large. So many wonderful ways to cook it. I thought of Zucchini Bread as it is versatile, can be enjoyed at any time as a snack or as part of a meal. Couple of things with the zucchini, I did pulse it in a processor as I like texture in my food, then squeezed it out. Grating using the big holes on a box grater also works really well – I just like the “what if…” scenario. I also like texture and thought the pulsing method would allow me that – there weren’t any chunks of zucchini in the bread so not to worry about that. I added nuts for a bit of crunch and again – texture, but you could also add raisins or something along those lines. Other changes – pumpkin pie spice mix. If you can get your hands on this little can of magic from “Club House”, great, if you can’t just double up on the cinnamon.

I also made this with – of course – jalapeno peppers that I grated into the zucchini mixture. The sweet-heat combination, well let’s just say it satisfied my taste buds. You be the judge – just take advantage of these seasonal items and this to your keeper recipes. Oh and the pictures below, I just couldn’t resist showing off my farmers market finds. We had one today at our local Loblaw’s in Richmond Hill. As always – enjoy!

1 pound zucchini (about 1 large home grown or 3 medium-size) – about 2 cups grated
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
or – 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix – no additional nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease/spray 2 9×5″ loaf tins – this will make shallow loaves but you will have two of them – I know, bonus!
Preheat the oven to 350f
Grate/Pulse the zucchini, squeeze it dry and add the spices – mix to combine
Mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt
Whisk the eggs, sugars, olive oil and vanilla together
Add the zucchini mix to the flour and stir through with a fork
Add the wet to the dry ingredients, mixing just until it combines
Pour equal amounts into the tins
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes – test with a tooth pick at 40 minutes please – oven temperatures vary, just leave it in longer if it’s not ready, better safe than sorry! 
Remove from oven, cool on a rack
Slice and enjoy!