Many moons ago I confessed that I love zucchini so much I eat it in the dead of winter even though it’s been trucked in from who knows where and is ridiculously overpriced!
So I find myself giving you a recipe for zucchini fries that is obviously out of season. Some of you are exactly like me and have zucchini in your refrigerator right this very moment. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm where fresh, local zucchini is available all year long.
This one’s for you.
I feel inclined to warn you that zucchini fries are entirely addicting. They take some time and planning to make and will disappear faster than you can imagine.
The zucchini first must be salted and drained in a colander a few hours ahead of time otherwise they will be soggy and inedible. They are then dipped in egg and covered with a bread crumb mix made of panko, parmesan, flour and Italian seasonings.
The oven is where the magic happens.
The crumbs form a crispy outer coating that gives way to soft and creamy middles. The caramelized onion dipping sauce (onions + sour cream + mustard + vinegar + honey) elevates them to delicious new heights and adds to their addictive qualities.
For your to-do list. Hunt down a few zucchini. Bake these. Dip to your little heart’s content.
Oven baked zucchini fries with a crispy crumb coating and an addicting caramelized onion dipping sauce.
- When cutting up the zucchini discard the seedy, mushy middle pieces. Place the zucchini fries in a colander over a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and toss. Allow them to drain for at least two hours or longer in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile make the dip by melting the butter and olive oil together in a skillet or saute pan. Add the onions and cook about 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often until the onions are mostly browned.
- Remove them from the heat and mix with the vinegar. Add them to a food processor with the honey, mustard and sour cream. Pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
- Set up a dredging station by combining the panko, parmesan, flour and Italian seasoning in a wide, shallow bowl. Beat the eggs together in a separate, shallow bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with olive oil; or use a non-stick baking sheet and spray the pan directly or grease very lightly.
- Use one hand for dipping the zucchini in the egg and one for coating with bread crumbs; allow the excess egg to drip off and use your hand to pat on the crumbs. Place on baking sheet close but not touching. Repeat until all the zucchini are coated.
- Bake 12 minutes, carefully turn them all over and bake another 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately with onion dip.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour