I’ve been wanting to get a zucchini recipe in before September becomes a memory, because I love zucchini, and because I know those of you who are lucky enough to have a place to grow things may be experiencing the zucchini overload that so often accompanies early autumn. I really wanted to do a zucchini muffin (with honey and millet) which in my head and my recipe notebook seemed perfect, but I haven’t have time to test (and photograph and write about) the recipe. Somehow posting summer squash recipes in October seems blasphemous, so these zucchini fries will have to do. We’ll be moving on to winter squash next week.
This recipe makes me think about the first time I realized I didn’t understand about nutrition. I must have been about 14 years old, maybe less, and had been out for lunch with a friend. This was a new thing, being old enough to dine out with a friend without parental supervision. It seemed so sophisticated (and wild! and crazy!) taking lunch at the neighbourhood White Spot. Pretty freaking cool. I remember coming home and announcing, with pride, that we’d shared a healthy lunch, my friend and I, of zucchini fries (dipped in ranch dressing, of course) and a Caesar salad. Look what we just ate! Practically just vegetables and nothing else! Oh my, how little we knew. I was heartbroken when my parents informed me I may as well have had an ice cream sundae for lunch with all the fat I’d just consumed.
I’m not going to claim that these zucchini fries are all miraculous and healthy like. As you can see, I’ve included crushed potato chips in the breading. But the potato chips constitute a fairly marginal amount of the breading, and if you could get your hands on some panko bread crumbs (which I haven’t yet stumbled up on in Stockholm) I reckon you could forgo the chips altogether and end up with the same crunch. They are definitely better than their deep fried cousins, though, and I’m willing to bet you’ll like them just as much. Maybe even a little more? I oven baked these zucchini fries on a smoking hot cookie sheet drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and served them with a dip of light Turkish yoghurt swirled with chipolte pepper.
One year ago: Smoked Tofu Gyoza
Baked Zucchini Fries Recipe:
As with all things breaded this will go easiest if you use a wet-hand dry-hand method, or enlist the help of a friend. Serve oven baked zucchini fries piping hot from the oven with a sweet or savory dip. The baking method of first heating the baking sheet and oil means that when the zucchini hits the sheet it will start sizzling immediately. This results in great crunch, and is my favourite method for oven baking potato fries as well.
1 large zucchini
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1 40g bag of plain potato chips, crushed finely
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F. Place a cookie sheet into the oven to heat up.
Slice zucchini into wedges about 2cm thick. Set flour into a shallow bowl. Whisk egg and milk together in another shallow bowl and set aside. In a third bowl mix together bread crumbs, potato chips salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Start your assembly line. First dredge the zucchini wedges in the flour, then dunk into the egg mixture, and lastly place into the bread crumbs, tossing to coat.
Remove cookie sheet from the oven and spread 2 Tbsp of oil over the surface. Replace in the oven for a couple of minutes to heat oil. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and arrange zucchini fries in a single layer. Set in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, remove and turn fries over, then bake for another 10 minutes. Serve immediately with a sweet or savory dip.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011