Farm to Table: Zucchini Chocolate (Basil) Loaf

Zucchini (basil) Chocolate loaf Sliced (Warm)

This is a no-brainer combination! Really! Zucchini and chocolate were meant to be. The moistness of one pairs so beautifully with the richness of the other to make one succulent and intensely flavorful bite.

How it came to be is no real story. With an overabundance of summer squash to make use of, I was racking my brains and the net for inspiration when I remembered a zucchini bread that I had made last year. That was the first time I was made aware of the selfless good nature of the said vegetable.

I mean, one needs to acknowledge it's behind-the-scenes altruism. The finished product, in every subtle and not-so-subtle way, gains from its presence. Yet, it makes no declaration of or proclamation to it! And, that indeed, is what warmed me to using this summer staple in sweet things.

Zucchini (basil) Chocolate loaf

This time around, I wanted more decadence and much more dessert likeness! The simple bread was great for breakfast or tea but wasn't quite the sweet finish to the meal. By making a cake like loaf that was light as air and fresh as summer, it just elevated the humble loaf to a level comparable to the dessert greats!

Paired with the freshest donut peaches that I have ever bitten into and ever fragrant garden basil, it was just the sublime I was looking for. The peaches add naturally fresh sweetness and the basil just the touch of herb-y savory which brought the dessert into a nice balance along with the just slightly sweetened lemon mascarpone.

Ok, fine, I'll confess, it turned out way finer than I had expected and it was all greedily consumed, swiftly at that, by the FSKs, especially the Mr.! :)

Chocolate loaf with mascarpone, peaches and basil

For more ideas on cooking fresh, seasonal produce, please click on the "Farm to Table Series" tab above.

Zucchini Chocolate Loaf

Recipe Note: Although I added the basil in the batter, we couldn't taste it in the loaf. However, sprinkling some fresh basil on the dessert served, makes a world of difference!

1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup zucchini grated
1/4 cup cocoa powder
handful chocolate chips semisweet
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 T basil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder

Mix the wet ingredients together and sift the dry ones in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture in three parts to the dry and fold until just combined. Pour into a 5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Cool on rack to room temperature before slicing.

To serve, spread a generous teaspoon of sweetened mascarpone mixed with lemon zest. Arrange peach slices on top and sprinkle fresh basil over.

Chocolate loaf with mascarpone, peaches and basil close