My last CSA installment was all about salad greens and zucchini. Don’t get me wrong: I love both. But I found myself scratching my head, trying to calculate how many salads I could eat in one week. And where, exactly, would zucchini fit into this salad-centric picture? Then it hit me: zucchini bread. But not just any zucchini bread. BEER zucchini bread. And that got me thinking: If beer could act like yeast in bread, maybe it could take the place of other ingredients elsewhere—of vinegar, say, in salad dressing. And the rest is history.
Beer three ways: Cheddar zucchini beer bread; a salad of radicchio, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cucumbers from the farm share, topped with Clementine slices and walnuts that I had on hand and dressed with a beer vinaigrette; and a beer to chase it all down. For the salad dressing, I used this orange and ale vinaigrette recipe from Food & Wine as a jumping-off point; for the bread, I used this recipe from the supermarket chain HEB. Details below.
FOR THE SALAD DRESSING
>> 3 oz IPA (a quarter-bottle of an India Pale Ale; I used the local-to-me Cisco Brewers’ Indie Pale Ale)
>> 1 T minced shallot (also from the week’s farm share: hooray!)
>> zest and juice of one Clementine (the recipe called for orange zest, but since I didn’t have oranges on hand, I used what I did—and because Clementines don’t zest easily, I added the juice for good measure)
>> 2 T mustard (I had Dijon and honey varieties in the fridge and used a little of both)
>> 4 T extravirgin olive oil
>> salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE BREAD
>> 3 ½ c all-purpose flour
>> 3 ½ t baking powder
>> 3 ½ t salt
>> 2 large brown eggs
>> 12 oz of beer (that’s one bottle; I used more of the Cisco)
>> 1 large zucchini, grated
>> 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
>> ¾ c grated Cheddar (I used Robinson Farm’s Barndance, which I picked up at my local farmers market)
Heat the oven to 400. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and beer, then fold in the zucchini, scallions, and cheese. Fold the zucchini mixture into the dry mixture. Pour into the loaf pan. I baked this for about 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the loaf came out fairly clean. And don’t forget to pop open a local IPA of your choosing for yourself!
STILL HUNGRY? Browse the CSA Cookoff recipe file.