Monday, July 9, 2012

Baked Zucchini Fries

i have deemed july zucchini month. that's right, from now on, july is national zucchini month in the united states of america (or at least on this little corner of the blog world).

if you are a member of a local csa, have a garden, or shop at your local farmers market, you have probably noticed an abundance of zucchini. so, perhaps you are wondering what to do with it. well here i am to save the day!

some of my favorite zucchini recipes include:
zucchini and potato gratin
zucchini cakes
coconut chicken and zucchini curry
zucchini spaghetti
grilled zucchini stuffed burgers

but i have a new favorite. that's right, move over zucchini casserole and zucchini cakes, there's a new kid in town - baked zucchini fries. these are a huge hit in our house and i think they will be in your house too. these baked zucchini fries are popular among the young crowd (attention parents trying to get your kids to eat veggies) as well as the older crowd (those trying to use up every last zucchini in their csa box).

the best part about the recipe is the dipping sauce. here's where you can get creative. zucchini fries are equally delicious plain as they are dipped in marinara (always a kid favorite), chipotle ranch, creamy caesar, or parmesan peppercorn. and those are just the ones i've tried. i'm sure your favorite homemade dressing would be great as a dipping sauce too.

zucchini fries are best eaten immediately, but i have had relative success warming them in the toaster oven on 400 for a few minutes to try and bring their crispy back.

Baked Zucchini Fries

2-3 zucchini
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mrs dash (any flavor - i use garlic and herb)
2 eggs
1 tsp water
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
olive oil

preheat oven to 425 degrees F. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

cut zucchini into long strips that resemble fries. in a large, ziploc bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, and mrs. dash.  in a shallow bowl combine eggs and water and beat well. in another shallow dish toss together panko and parmesan.

drop 5-6 pieces of zucchini in the flour mixture and shake well to coat each slice of zucchini. dip each zucchini strip into the egg mixture, completely coating it, and finally into the panko/parmesan mixture ensuring it is completely covered on all sides. place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with all zucchini, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet.

spray all zucchini with olive oil cooking spray and bake for 12 minutes. turn each one over and bake for 8-10 more minutes until golden brown.

Chipotle Ranch Dressing
adapted from
great on salad or as dipping sauce

1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbs olive oil mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper

in a food processor, puree chipotle chile. add cilantro and garlic and pulse until well chopped. add remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined. keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

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