Final Thursday Market Zucchini Basil Bread

Press Democrat columnist MichelaAnna Jordan has nice things to say about the Thursday Market…especially the vendors.

“Four vendors participate, two that offer a diverse selection of produce and two that offer fruit. There are no crafts vendors, no prepared food vendors, no seafood, meat or poultry vendors, just delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. In a sense, you can say this market has been the quintessential market, delivering the farmers market vision of fresh produce in its purest form.

The Patch sells here and currently has a great selection of some of the best tomatoes — both heirloom and hybrid — of anyone this year, along with a rainbow of sweet peppers, zucchini, beets, green beans, onions, garlic, basil, cucumbers and potatoes. The quality of produce from this farm is reliably delicious and always well-priced.

Ortiz also a reliably excellent producer, has zucchini, cabbage, radishes, onions, potatoes, cilantro, Italian parsley, squash blossoms, zucchini, a big selection of braising greens, a small selection of tomatoes, gorgeous delicious poblanos and a few other chiles and beautiful flowers, including long stalks of gladiolus and pretty sunflowers.

Fruit is from Eddie Chavez’s EGB Farms of Ripon and Schletewitz Farm of Sanger. Both have had an excellent selection of stone fruits throughout the season and both offer tastes, so that you can select varieties that you know you like.”

The final cooking demonstration is Chef Elizabeth Eichhold’s Basil Zucchini Bread.

Zucchini basil bread

3 cups white flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups grated yellow or green zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease & flour 2 bread pans.
Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder & cinnamon in a bowl. Use a wire whisk to combine.

In another large bowl beat together the oil and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition . Add vanilla, basil, walnuts and grated zucchini and mix by hand with a spatula, scraping up from the bottom of the bowl until well combined.

Fill the two bread pans with the batter and bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes & turn out on a wire cooling rack. The second loaf can be frozen for later.

Some variations would be to omit the basil & add 8 oz. of drained, crushed canned pineapple or 1 cup fresh diced pineapple, or 3/4 cup golden or dark raisins, or 1 tsp. powdered ginger and 1/2 tsp. cloves or 3 tbsp. peeled & diced fresh ginger. I also like the combination of fresh ginger with one or two diced pears.