Let me tell you about the time my husband and I ate two pounds of zucchini in one sitting. Turns out, all you have to do is turn it into fries.
I made these zucchini parmesan fries this past weekend for lunch, testing Super Bowl appetizer ideas, and they were a hit. They’re baked instead of fried, making them much healthier than the kind you might find on a pizzeria menu, and they get nice and crispy in the oven, with just the right amount of breading to steam the zucchini, leaving it crunchy on the outside and a bit soft, but not soggy, inside.
Though the actual breading process takes a little time, they’re pretty simple to put together, a great way to use up zucchini (I’m keeping this in mind for summer), and a great way to mindlessly eat a lot of vegetables, whether you’re watching the game or just in it for the snacks.
ZUCCHINI PARMESAN FRIES
Serves 3 to 6 as an appetizer
2 pounds zucchini, cut into half-inch strips around 6 inches long
Oil for pan
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 eggs, whisked until homogenous, with 2 tablespoons water added
Bread crumb parmesan breading:
2/3 cup regular bread crumbs (not Panko)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan (you can also use store-bought if that is what you have on hand)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread zucchini out on a plate or cooling rack, then sprinkle with salt to remove excess moisture. Let sit 10 minutes, then blot with paper towels.
Mix flour, salt, and garlic powder in a dish or bowl that will accommodate your zucchini slices; whisk eggs in a separate bowl; mix bread crumb Parmesan breading in a third bowl. Oil a baking sheet (or two) so it has a slick coat of oil, not too thick.
In assembly-line fashion, start by coating zucchini in the flour mixture, then dip into the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumb Parmesan mixture, getting a nice thick coat at the end. Place on baking pan and repeat until all zucchini sticks are coated and on the baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes so two sides get crispy.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I suggest Parmesan ranch dressing or marinara sauce. I whipped up a quick honey Dijon sauce in the absence of these things with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon oil, and one clove of grated garlic, which is a popular quick dipping sauce/salad dressing at my house these days.