Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Zucchini And Brown Butter Bread

Here we have another of the delightful Alice Zaslavsky's recipes from her book The Joy of Better Cooking.  I made one of Alice's cakes for Cookbook Club recently, while others had made some of her zucchini fritters, and this lovely bread.  We queried why Alice had called it Zucchini and Brown Butter Bread, 'cos there ain't no brown butter involved.  Nevertheless, it's really tasty, and good for you, natch - all that zucchini!  

Has anyone else noticed that brown butter seems to be all the rage these days?  I've almost never made it or used it - maybe back in High School days in Home Ec.  In my first year at High School, we had to do sewing (can't remember what they called it), and it took me pretty much the whole year to make the apron we had to use the following year in Home Ec.  Hilarious!  A handy/crafty woman I am not.  

Our teacher was Mrs. Kounikoff, a Russian lady of formidable aspect and heavy accent.  She clearly thought I was a hopeless case, though I was pretty good at embroidery.  Yep, makes no sense.  At least my cooking was up to scratch.

grab some butter to slather on

Serves 6+:


400g./14 oz/3 cups zucchini, coarsely grated 

1 tsp sea salt flakes

150g./5.3 oz butter, melted

100g./3.5 oz/1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

3 spring onions (scallions), sliced finely

3 Tbs parsley, chopped as you like it

125g./4.4 oz/½ cup plain, thick, Greek yoghurt

2 large eggs, beaten with a fork or whisk

300g./10.5 oz/2 cups self-raising flour

180g./6.4 oz/1 cup instant polenta (cornmeal)

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or 1 rasp of a whole nutmeg

a few grinds of fresh black pepper

1.5-2 Tbs EV olive oil

40g./1.4 oz/¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


very thinly-sliced zucchini strips to decorate the top of the loaf

zucchini flowers for the top (very optional)

a few big sprinkles of salt for the top


On goes your oven at 160C/320F, while you butter and line a 20cm/8 inch square cake tin or 2 loaf tins or whatever floats your boat, shape-wise

Grab a large bowl, line it with a very clean tea-towel or muslin, throw in the grated zucchini, sprinkle with the salt and let it sit and ruminate for 10 minutes to release its green, salty juices

Then you're going to squeeze the squishy green mess thru the tea towel/muslin till it's pretty dry  see Notes 

Tip the drained zukes back into the bowl (sans liquid), and now add the butter, cheese, spring onions and parsley and stir together

And then stir in the yoghurt and beaten eggs  - see Notes

Now grab another bowl, and stir in the flour, polenta, nutmeg and pepper

Stir half this flour mixture into the zuke mixture and stir together

Then stir in the other half of the flour mixture - be gentle when doing this as you don't want to activate the gluten too much

Pour the batter into the cake tin(s), drizzle on the olive oil, and smooth out the top with a palette knife/spatula

Lay the extra zucchini slices over the top (if using), and drizzle a bit more oil on them

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes, then take it out so you can sprinkle on the pepitas and salt (and flowers)

Now bake for another 35-40 minutes till a skewer comes out clean from its cheesy, veggie-laden heart

Leave it to cool for ten minutes in the tin, then onto a wire rack to cool right down

Slice thickly, and slather with lots of butter!

If any left, whack into an airtight container in the fridge; this can be toasted the next day for extra oomph

Alice says you can use pumpkin instead of zucchini, and add olives and roasted capsicum strips for extra flavour


Don't do what I did, and keep squishing till there's no liquid left at all!  I went wild :=)  I ended up with 150mL/5 oz of green zuke juice which I put into a bag, and into the freezer for future dishes

I ended up adding about 80 grams extra yoghurt as my mixture was too dry after my hefty, over-keen squeezing of the zukes

squeeze out that juice!

and pop into the freezer

ingredients gathered

give it a good stir

and stir again

see?  Pretty darn dry (my bad) till I added extra yoghurt

ready for baking

and done!

a beautiful bottom

can't wait to eat it

turned out pretty well, I have to say :=)

c. Sherry M.


  1. Your instructions are so good, Sheri! I'm always afraid I'll get the butter a little TOO brown!

  2. I would definitely make an extra effort and brown the butter. Nevertheless, this zucchini bread looks delicious and wholesome.

    1. i think the title was just a mistake on the publisher's part. But yes it could taste good that way.

  3. That is a beautiful bread. I would probably brown the butter also, but I am partial to the flavor of it.

    1. not sure if it was ever meant to have brown butter!

  4. First sentence: I rarely make bread. Second sentence: I cannot wait to make this!!! Love zucchini! Have never made it into bread . . . and then there is Mrs Kounikoff :) ! Yes, a Russian name naturally but she just may have come from the Baltics (remember I was born Tallinn, Estonia!) or around St Petersburg 'up the road' 'cause we had brown butter on EVERYHING . . . if I did not want a long lifetime, I still would! Shall repost recipe o all sand sundry omorrow . . . :) !

    1. Yes i am not a bread baker but this loaf is more cakelike so more my speed :) Brown butter is so trendy atm!

  5. Zucchini season here is of course in our autumn, at which point the cooking columns are full of recipes for zucchini bread. This looks like a good one. I don't have a vegetable garden so I don't have to search for what to do with the numerous and simultaneously ripe zucchinis!

    best, mae at

  6. So I have to ask - what are you going to do with that frozen zuke juice?? This sounds like a fantastic zucchini bread - even if it omits the brown butter. Sounds like a mistake in the editor's office if you ask me! I love the thin slices of zukes on top - it makes for an attractive bread.

    1. I've already put some of the 'juice' into a savoury mince dish, and it will go into soups etc. Thanks re the bread.

  7. Oh, yum! That with some soup right now would be perfect.
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime

  8. I can imagine a slice with a cup of coffee!

  9. I failed sewing in school, my teacher didn’t like the mini skirt I tried to make. Until this day I can’t sew a straight line. Hopefully my zucchini plants will give me some zucchini and I can make your bread . Gerlinde

    1. Yes i am not a crafty person at all :) This loaf is very tasty.

  10. It's such a pretty dish, perfect for when friends come over 😁

  11. You should be proud of that beautiful dish. It's stunning!

    (BTW, though I ended up being a stay-at-home mom for twenty years, I refused to take homemaking in high school...I could have really used learning to cook and sew!)

    1. Thanks Deb. We didn't have a choice with the sewing :=)

  12. I made brown butter chocolate chip cookies and they are the best I've ever made. Your bread looks delicious :)

    1. yes brown butter does have a great nutty taste! thank you.


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