My friends, we've reached that lovely time of year when zucchini are massively prolific. Those of you who garden are probably really feeling the zucchini love these days.
I thought about putting in a vegetable garden this year. But there's this slight problem that's messed up my gardens for the last couple years - hail. It seems that nearly every time we get a thunderstorm here, hail pours down. A couple weeks ago we got a really good one - you can see photos here. Everything is still struggling to come back so I've been really thankful that I didn't plant a garden or spend massive amounts of money on landscaping foliage.
But for those of you who live in more zucchini-friendly growing areas, I thought I would share this recipe with you for oven-baked zucchini "fries." Although, I confess that my daughter wasn't fooled by me calling them fries because after her first bite she indignantly said, "Guys! These aren't fries! They're healthy."
But I do know that many people can coerce their kiddos into eating these like crazy by offering them along with some marinara sauce and letting their kiddos go nuts with it.
Cut your zucchini into homestyle fries shapes. I took each zucchini, cut it in half, and then cut each half into fourths lengthwise.
You'll also need to get out some bread crumbs (I used panko) - season them with salt, pepper, ground red pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
In a separate shallow dish, whisk an egg with salt and pepper.
We're seasoning every step of the way with these guys because zucchini takes on other flavors really well and without them it can be a bit bland.
Dredge the zucchini into the egg first and then into the bread crumbs. Set the zucchini onto a baking sheet that's been topped with a cooling rack. This allows the heat to circulate all around them while they bake so you don't have soggy bottoms.
Drizzle the tops of the zucchini with a tiny bit of olive oil.
Bake at 400 until the zucchini are golden brown and crispy.
Like so. As soon as you pull them out of the oven, sprinkle them with a bit more salt. Serve right away and enjoy your healthy snack/side dish!
Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries
1 cup breadcrumbs (panko works great)
salt and pepper
ground red/cayenne pepper
Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with cooling racks.
Rinse the zucchini. Chop off the stem of each and then cut the zucchini in half. Cut each half into fourths, lengthwise, to create "homestyle" fries.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg along with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, combine panko with a couple pinches each of the red/cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
Dredge each zucchini piece in the egg mixture first and then the breadcrumbs. Place them on top of the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the zucchini is breaded. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the tops.
Bake in the oven at 400 until they are golden brown and crispy, about 15-20 minutes.