• 64°

Turn your zucchini abundance into no-fry fries

Those darn zucchini! There’s an army of them occupying your garden right now and each one is as big as a blimp.
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 fry-like sticks, then cooking them in a way that delivers that signature crunch, but without the deep-frying.
To start, you toast up some panko breadcrumbs 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 not only contributes to that golden hue, it also makes everything taste better.
By the way, 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 11/2 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 breadcrumbs. 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 that 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 here I’ve added some lemon juice to cut the sweetness of the commercial mayonnaise, as well as some smoked paprika, one my favorite cupboard ingredients.
Paprika of all kinds is widely available. You’ll likely be able to find excellent Hungarian and Spanish versions, both in varying degrees of heat, at your local supermarket. Undoubtedly, that ready availability explains why it’s not unusual to find paprika gracing our French fries these days. Believe me, it’s just as wonderful here.
Start to finish: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
• 5 tablespoons grated
Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• Salt and ground black
pepper
• 1 large egg, beaten lightly
with 1 tablespoon water
• 3/4 pound zucchini, peeled
and cut into 16 equal sticks
• 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon hot smoked
paprika
Heat the oven to 450 F. 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 it 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 and salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cooked zucchini lightly with salt and pepper, then transfer to a platter and serve immediately with the sauce.
Nutrition information per serving: 290 calories; 120 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 10 g protein; 500 mg sodium.

Comments

Comments closed.

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18

Coronavirus

County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally

Local

Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate

Crime

Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000

Crime

Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing

Education

Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies

Education

Shoutouts