Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

EATING well

Move over, french fries, and make way for zucchini fries

Zucchini can be cut into sticks to deliver that signature crunch and appealing golden hue. Paprika dipping sauce is a nice accompaniment.

Associated Press

Zucchini can be cut into sticks to deliver that signature crunch and appealing golden hue. Paprika dipping sauce is a nice accompaniment.

Zucchini are plentiful and affordable this time of year — for gardeners in some parts of the country, a little too plentiful.

What if I told you there's a way to transform the whole lot of them into a delicious dish resembling french fries — but without all the calories? The secret involves cutting your zucchini into frylike sticks, then cooking them in a way that delivers that signature crunch without the deep-frying.

To start, you toast up some panko bread crumbs in a dry skillet, which ensures that the finished product — the breaded zucchini — has the toasted taste and color that everyone loves. Then you mix them with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, which contributes to that golden hue.

The amount of cheese you'll end up with depends on which tool you use to grate it. Cheese grated on a fine wand-style grater has two-thirds more volume than cheese grated on the fine side of a box grater. I used a wand grater, which is how I came up with the 5 tablespoons of grated cheese used in this recipe. Using a box grater, you'll only need 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons.

The crumb mixture is glued to the zucchini sticks using a basic breading technique. You dip them first in flour, then egg, then the bread crumbs. If you skip the flour, the crumbs have a tendency to fall off. Happily, you can do the breading an hour ahead of time then park the breaded zucchini on a cooling rack until just before dinner. This keeps the air circulating around the sticks so they don't get soggy. Then just transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and pop them into the oven for 8 minutes.

The dipping sauce is gussied-up aioli. In truth, even basic aioli — or garlic mayonnaise — is just fine. But I've added some lemon juice to cut the sweetness of the commercial mayonnaise, as well as some smoked paprika, one of my favorite cupboard ingredients.

CHEESY ZUCCHINI FRIES

WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA DIPPING SAUCE

1 cup panko bread crumbs

5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and ground black pepper

1 large egg, beaten lightly with

1 tablespoon water

¾ pound zucchini, peeled and cut into 16 equal sticks

¼ cup light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the panko, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the oil.

In another shallow bowl, combine the flour with the garlic powder, then season with salt and pepper.

In a third shallow bowl, place the egg mixture.

Working with several zucchini sticks at a time, toss them in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add the flour-coated zucchini to the egg mixture and toss to coat well, letting the excess egg drip off. Finally, place them in the panko mixture, tossing to make sure they are coated well on all sides. Arrange the fully coated zucchini sticks in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake, turning once, until golden and tender, about 8 minutes.

While the zucchini is baking, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the zucchini lightly with salt and pepper, then transfer to a platter and serve with sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories (120 calories from fat, 41 percent of total calories); 14g fat (3g saturated, 0g trans fats); 55mg cholesterol; 34g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 3g sugar; 10g protein; 500mg sodium.

Move over, french fries, and make way for zucchini fries 08/21/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Adalberto Mejia, right, makes the tag at the plate on Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to score on a runner's fielders' choice in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone) MNJM103
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  4. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85

    Ml

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  5. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement

    Environment

    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)