Zucchini bread is a godsend during peak summer when zucchini is everywhere, but I often find the loaves disappointing: sweet, dense, and one-note in flavor. So I ditched the sugar, raisins, and other sweet add-ins and created a savory rendition that’s exactly to my taste.
It’s flecked with chopped Castelvetrano olives, manchego, almonds, and smoky paprika, kind of like it summered in Spain! Olive oil reinforces its savoriness, and a little rye flour boosts its texture and flavor.
The bread can be baked in either a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (start checking for doneness after about 30 minutes) or a standard loaf pan. I love serving it plain or lightly toasted with salted butter—either as a snack or part of a meal. —EmilyC
one 9-inch loaf
1 1/4 cups
(158 grams) shredded, unpeeled zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini) (not squeezed or wrung dry)
(113 grams) shredded manchego or aged cheddar (from a 4-ounce piece)
(112 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
(115 grams) whole-milk yogurt, regular or Greek
1 1/2 teaspoons
finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice from a large lemon
1 1/2 cups
(180 grams) all-purpose flour
(60 grams) rye flour
(55 grams) slivered almonds (can substitute chopped walnuts)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter or oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan. (If your bread pan isn’t non-stick, line the bottom with parchment paper for extra insurance.)
In a medium bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix together the zucchini, cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, yogurt, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until well incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and paprika.
Pour the zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients, folding a few times with a rubber spatula, then add the almonds and olives. Gently mix until just combined and no flour remains. Scrape batter into prepared pan. (Note: the batter is thick and dense but the resulting bread is not!)
Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through baking, or until a paring knife or thin skewer inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. (Note: don’t use a toothpick; it’s an unreliable gauge of doneness.) The crust will be golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack completely before slicing. The flavor is even better the next day. Store it in an airtight container or wrapped in foil for 3 to 5 days.