Summer is here, but it’s easy to forget that here in the Bay where most days are overcast and the fog keeps rolling in. — I’m not complaining, I’ll take this misty weather over Los Angeles dry heat any day.
However, leaving the city is like entering a portal into another world— one filled with brightness and warmth, along with all of the familiar summer vegetables that I love. I have been visiting the Marin Farmer’s Market semi-regularly now as it coincides with my weekend from the restaurant and is just a short jaunt over the Golden Gate.
Known as the “Chef’s Farmer’s Market” in the Bay, it is not unusual to see chefs at the market doing there shopping for the week (You can usually identify them by the gargantuan cart of produce they’re pushing out of the market). The Marin Farmer’s Market boasts some of the best local farms in the Bay Area (Although it pales in comparison with the Hollywood and Santa Monica Farmer’s Markets back home), and is a lovely little escape from the bustle and gloom of the city.
Summer squash are some of my favorite vegetables, and zucchini bread is a favorite nostalgic treat. Spiced with Garam Masala and brown butter and sweetened with turbinado sugar and molasses, this quick bread is sweet, bright, and a nice bridge between the bright summer produce of the market and the comforting gloom of the city. Best enjoyed hot out of the oven with a mug of coffee.
- 1 cup butter, browned
- 3 eggs
- 1¾ cups turbinado sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 3-4 cups shredded zucchini ( I always opt for more rather than less)
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teasooon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ package of chocolate chips
- optional: citrus zest
- Preheat oven to 325 F and generously butter a loaf pan.
- Preheat pan in oven for at least 10 minutes while you mix your ingredients.
- Brown butter in a small saucepan until nutty and fragrant and then cool to room temperature.
- Combine all liquid ingredients in a large bowl, and slowly incorporate browned butter.
- Stir together all dry ingredients, and sift into large bowl to combine.
- Mix in dry ingredients until just combined, adding pecans and chocolate chips at the end.
- Pour into pre-heated pan and bake for 45 minutes-1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean and outside is firm.
- Over-baking will cause your cake to dry out, but bake time will depend on the size and depth of your pan.
- Cool and slice.