The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 08.30.06


Chocolate chips and zukes go together yummily

"What the heck am I going to do with this entire zucchini?" She was pointing at a green behemoth waiting patiently on the ground.

"I've given so many away and cannot keep up" she explained in frustration.

Alice is not alone in her worries about just what to do with her bumper crop of child-sized courgettes. When zucchini come on, they come on strong and do not let up.

Most amateur gardeners know that it is easy to produce contest-winning giant squash of this variety. If left alone and not harvested when young and tender, the results will astound with their size.

The best and perhaps easiest thing to do is to shred and bake. Shredding will also allow you to freeze any leftovers for further use. Just make sure you squeeze out any excess moisture before freezing.

Zucchini are the ideal addition for super moist breads. Add a few more ingredients and you will please even the most finicky of eaters.

Zucchini, Cucurbita pepo, is a member of the cucumber and melon family. Inhabitants of Central and South America have been eating zucchini for several thousand years, but the zucchini we know today is a variety of summer squash developed in Italy.

The word zucchini comes from the Italian zucchino, meaning a small squash.

The term squash comes from the Indian skutasquash meaning "green thing eaten green." Christopher Columbus originally brought seeds to the Mediterranean region and Africa.

The French snubbed zucchini for a long time until chefs learned to choose small fruits, which are less bland and watery. The French term for zucchini is courgette, which is often used interchangeably for yellow squash as well.

This recipe will also please the kids. Just don't mention that you have added some very healthy vegetables to the mix and watch them gobble it up.

Chocolate Chip Orange Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4-teaspoon baking powder
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
1/2-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, nuts, chocolate chips, and orange rind. Blend in sifted ingredients. Turn batter into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 minutes, or until bread tests done. Remove loaves from pans, and cool. Chill before slicing.