Zucchini and summer squash seem to grow like weeds every year, overtaking our home gardens and farmers’ market stalls alike. As such, there is no such thing as having too many zucchini recipes to choose from. This cornbread recipe comes together quickly, so it’s the perfect savory side dish for any dinner. It’s moist, has a delicate and crumbly texture and is lightly sweetened with honey.
The only gripe that we have with cornbread is that it can be a little dry. That’s where zucchini comes in handy. Zucchini is about 94% water, so it’s a true hydration powerhouse. Adding shredded summer squash — one whole pound, to be exact — to the cornbread batter not only creates a lot of moisture, but it’s also a great way to add some essential vitamins and nutrients in another otherwise decadent quick bread. It’s rich in manganese and vitamins A and C and has been proven to promote heart health. If it weren’t for the subtle specks of green throughout the dough, no one would ever know there were vegetables in there. Zucchini is so mild in flavor that it’s hardly noticeable. Buttermilk and sour cream both add even more moisture to the batter.
The special ingredient in our cornbread recipe is bacon grease. Just one tablespoon is enough to add a subtle smoky quality to the bread, so make sure to save some of the pan drippings the next time you fry up a few slices of bacon. But if you don’t have any bacon fat, just add an additional tablespoon of melted butter to the batter.
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Preheat the oven to 425 F.2.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.3.
In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, sour cream, buttermilk, eggs and honey together or maple syrup. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated, then gently stir in the 4 tablespoons melted butter.4.
Add the bacon drippings or additional tablespoon of butter to a 10-inch cast iron pan or a 9-inch round or square baking dish. Place the pan in the oven until the drippings or butter are melted, then pour in the cornbread batter.5.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown and very crispy at the edges.6.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.