My garden is overflowing with squash of varying kinds right now. My favorite that can be harvested at this moment is zucchini. We've been harvesting at least 4 squash a day for weeks now! So, what do I do with all this zucchini? Besides grating it into everything I make. (Which is 100% true. Try it. It's an excellent way of using the squash and getting children to eat it. I reserve this for my Mexican squash, though, because I prefer the whole flavor of my zucchini and Italian squash.)
Well, I went searching on line - of course. I saw a recipe for zucchini fries in an online version of a health magazine (can't remember which one right now). I thought it was a great idea, so I decided to create a version of my own. They are so tasty, you would never think that they are healthy! I took pictures a long the way so that you can see what I did. After making these 4 or 5 times now, I'm completely addicted. Literally, I can't each just one. Heck. I can't eat just 10. My family is lucky if I don't eat them all right out of the oven. I have changed the recipe slightly since taking these pictures, but I will note where there are changes.
This IS my new favorite way to eat zucchini. These sticks are baked to perfection. Extra crispy on the outside and soft and delicious in the center. My mother prefers the thicker cut version, because she likes more soft squash flavor and texture. I, on the other hand, prefer a more crunchy texture. You make them how you like; but either way I think you'll agree that these are AMAZING!!
These fries are 25 minutes to deliciousness, and crispier than any potato fry. Trust me.
Enough talk, let's cook.
Here's what I did:
I took one HUGE zucchini from my garden. (2-3 medium to small zucchini would give you the same amount). I cut off each end, and cut it in half.
Then I cut each half in half again vertically; and then cut the halves down into sticks ("fry size"). This is where you can decide how you want your fries. Thinner = crispier; thicker = softer. I cut mine between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
Next comes the coating that will make the fries so yummy! The first time I made these I did 1/2 cup each of Italian seasoned bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano cheese and Panko bread crumbs. This is what is pictured. When I make them now I like to do 3/4 cup each Panko bread crumbs and Romano cheese, and just ditch the Italian bread crumbs all together. They are crispier and tastier with more Panko.
Mix this all together and set aside.
The last ingredients are the egg whites and milk. I whisk up 2-3 egg whites (a good rule would be 1 egg white per small zucchini) until they are thick and foamy. Then I add 1/4 cup of skim milk, and a touch of salt.
I dredge the sticks in the milk mixture,
and then in the bread crumb mixture.
When they are coated, they go onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with no-stick spray.
They go into a 425F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Nothing left to do but eat. I eat them right off the cookie sheet, and I can easily down an entire batch by myself in just a few minutes. Heaven help the rest of the family if this is the first dish done for dinner. They only get the few fries that I didn't eat standing by the stove, while I cooked the rest of the meal.
I took a few shots so you can see how pretty they are.
If you can believe it - they taste even better than they look!
Here's the recipe:
2-3 small to medium zucchini
2-3 egg whites
1/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated (Parmesan cheese would work too)
dash of salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 425F. Spray 2 cookie sheets with no-stick spray. Cut the ends off of each zucchini, and then cut them in half. Cut the halves in half again, and then cut into sticks (fry shapes). In a dish or a large plate, mix together the cheese and bread crumbs. In another dish or bowl, whisk the egg whites until thick and foamy. Add a sprinkling of salt and the milk. Whisk to combine. Run the zucchini sticks into the egg/milk mixture and then in the bread crumb/cheese mixture until coated. Place onto the cookie sheets, giving room around each stick. Bake @ 425F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.