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Garden Loaf Bread

Jeanne via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It's been a great growing season here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Backyard gardeners are reporting bumper crops which in turn give rise to the question "what do I do with all this produce?" Chef Jerry Pellegrino has come up with a few very creative ideas about how to handle all that produce.


Think bread. Not your standard flour and yeast bread, but bread made with vegetables. Think pumpkin bread for instance. By grinding up things like squash, zucchini, or corn you can add it to your batter and come up with a very flavorful product. Here are some of Jerry's best ideas.


Zucchini Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 ¼ cups white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.


Tomato Herb Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup milk

1 cup grated cheddar

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 pound fresh tomatoes

large handful of fresh basil and oregano

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the egg, oil, and milk, followed by the grated cheese. The batter will be very thick.

Combine the chopped garlic, tomatoes, basil, and oregano in a food processor. Using a series of 10-15 one-second pulses, chop the tomatoes and garlic until no large pieces remain, but mixture is not completely smooth.

Fold the tomato and garlic mixture into the batter. Resulting batter will still be thick but should be fully moist. If dry patches of flour remain, stir in an additional 2-3 tablespoons of milk. If batter is quite wet, stir in an additional 2-3 tablespoons of flour.

Pour (scoop) the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy while still warm.


Green and Red Pepper Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup vegetable oil

3 eggs 

1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1green bell pepper, seeded and diced

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan.

Bake 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool loaf 20 minutes in pan, then transfer loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.


Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.