So I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but it has to be said again. I FAIL at spelling the word zucchini. Thanks to auto-correct and the fact that my brains finally decided to kick in, I have it right at the moment, but seriously? Not once did I spell it right when I first wrote down this recipe. The two c’s, one ‘n’ thing trips me up every time.
You know what else trips me up? CHEESE. Like *how* can you keep your head straight when faced with a loaf of bread studded with pockets of sharp cheese. It’s no wonder I can’t seem to spell correctly.
This is one of those recipes that have been stuck in waiting-mode for way too long, and now that zucchini season has come full circle back to us (hello, zucchini bread!) I’m jumping on the opportunity to finally share it. It’s funny that even though zucchini is broadly in the savory side of the food spectrum, when it comes to baking with it I automatically think sweet. Trust me when I say that I’m all for that, but this is something different and I definitely like it too. Think frittata or quiche in bread form: loaded with fresh zucchini, studded with shredded cheese, pepped up with a dollop of basil pesto, and flecked with bits of ground black pepper.
Honestly, this bread is so packed with flavor that it’s could really function as a snack or a side dish on it’s own, although it’d probably be amazing with a simple soup as well (but let’s get real, it’s summer and it’s HOT). Fresh out of the oven, the crisp crust gives into a tender loaf that’s so perfectly cheesy, thinking straight will be the last thing on your mind.
A savory spin on zucchini bread loaded with pockets of sharp cheese, a few dollops of pesto, and a hefty sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper for a flavor-packed loaf.
- 6 3/8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 4 1/4 ounces (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 5/8 ounces (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 6 3/4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) peeled and shredded zucchini
- 3 1/4 ounces (1 cup) shredded sharp cheese
- 1 1/4 ounces (1/4 cup) finely chopped sharp cheese
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) butter, melted, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Combine the flours, baking powder, pepper, and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, oil, yogurt, and pesto and whisk together until smooth. Add the zucchini and cheese and mix in until evenly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in just until the batter comes together and the flour is no longer visible, being careful not to overmix.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top briefly with a spatula. Brush melted butter evenly over top. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for about another 40 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool loaf briefly in pan before transferring to a wire rack. Bread should be served warm and leftovers can be stored in a zip-top bag at room temperature for up to a few days.