Chocolate Zucchini “Salad”

My husband took to calling this cake a “salad” because it was so heavy on the veggies — and because he wanted to justify eating it for more than just dessert. It’s a great way to use up even those Local Box zucchini that are a little past their prime:

  • 2 medium zucchini, trimmed and grated on a box grater or in the food processor [“Medium” is a relative term, of course. But the amount of zucchini needn’t be precise; the cake is very forgiving.]
  • 8 T butter, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 1 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Let grated zucchini rest in a metal strainer for 20 minutes or so, prodding with a wooden spoon occassionally to release as much water as possible. (You can also achieve this by balling it up in cheesecloth, if you have it, and squeezing.)
  2. Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9″ springform or other deep cake pan. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt to blend thoroughly.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add oil, beating, then add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, all while beating. Reduce mixer speed and add flour and buttermilk, alternately, in 3 batches. Stir in zucchini and, optionally, walnuts.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Cool completely, then dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.
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