Use green zucchini, yellow zucchini or summer squash for this. Wringing the zucchini of excess moisture keeps the texture from being soggy. Serve slices plain, buttered or with a swipe of cream cheese or peanut butter for a more substantial breakfast or snack.
1 pound zucchini (2 medium zucchini)
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (145 grams) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract, optional
2/3 cup (65 grams) sliced almonds, optional
Center a rack in the oven and heat to 375º F. Butter a 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan then dust it with a bit of flour. Alternatively, you can line a lightly buttered pan with a sheet of parchment paper. If you leave an inch or two hanging over two sides, it makes for easy removal after baking.
Trim stem ends of the zucchini then grate using the largest holes on a box grater or the largest grating disk from a food processor. Transfer the grated zucchini to a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Rest the colander over a bowl to catch excess liquid that drains from the zucchini. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Melt the butter then add to a medium bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar into the butter. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each egg. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Squeeze the zucchini by hand to thoroughly wring out any excess moisture then fluff it up a little so it is not in big clumps. (Discard the liquid). Stir zucchini into the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches, stirring between each addition. Stir in almonds. Save a handful of almonds to sprinkle on the tops of the zucchini loaf before baking.
Spoon batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Scatter the reserved almonds over the top then bake 50 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Keep in mind that the loaf will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven as it is cooling. After 35 minutes in the oven, check the bread and almonds for color. If it looks like things are browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.
When the bread is done, cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out the loaf onto the rack to finish cooling.