Every once in a blue moon, my baking takes a decidedly healthy turn – and boy oh boy, am I glad it did today! These baked zucchini “fries” are so crispy and flavorful, I would gladly eat them in place of the potato variety (and that’s really saying something, considering my deep love of all things potato!). They’re a great vegetable option for finicky kids, picky spouses, or those looking to shed fat and calories without sacrificing great taste. I ate every bit of cheesy breading that ended up on the aluminum foil after baking, and I bet you will too – enjoy!
TIP: The key to crisp “fries” in this recipe – and in others using vegetables with high water content, such as squash, eggplant, or cucumbers – is disgorging (or degorging). This involves sprinkling the sliced surface of the zucchini with salt, waiting approximately 15-20 minutes, then rinsing and patting dry. The salt causes the excess water inside the zucchini to expel through osmosis, thus preventing sogginess in the final product. Don’t forget the rinse and pat dry, however, to avoid needlessly salty “fries”!
BAKED PARMESAN ZUCCHINI FRIES
Yields | 4 servings
Inspiration | Food.com
- 4 small fresh zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- To disgorge zucchini, sprinkle sliced surface liberally with salt. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse with water and pat dry. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).
- In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, and cayenne pepper (if using).
- Dip zucchini strips into egg, then into crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Serve with ranch or honey mustard dressing.