It seems that every July you hear people talking about the abundance of zucchini that seems to come out of nowhere this time of year. If you’ve never grown zucchini yourself, you may be unable to fully appreciate the weight of that sentiment.
A few years back, Philip and I grew a “square foot garden”. It worked out really well….it was easy to tend to and besides some overplanted cucumbers (oops, I misread how many plants you were supposed to place in each square foot) and a yellow squash plant that was destroyed one squash at a time by insidious stink bugs, everything grew really well.
Especially the zucchini.
We had one zucchini plant (they take up a lot of space-nine square feet to be exact) and every day for three or four weeks we would see new zucchini emerge….then, like magic, they would grow at warp speed. If you don’t pick those things the second that they get to the right size (zucchini are best when on the small side), the next day they’ll be as large as your arm and then they’re pretty much good for zucchini bread. We shared quite a few with family and ate quite a few ourselves.
Here in the South, yellow squash is usually served fried (I generally cringe at the stereotype that people in the South only know how to serve food fried, but it’s pretty true in this case) but I haven’t seen a lot of fried zucchini, though I don’t know why. Zucchini is just a little sweet, perfectly tender when picked at the right time, and crisps up just so when sliced thinly enough. I don’t care much for frying, though, so I came up with this bake-frying method. It’s perfect…crispy, just a little salty, and very dippable. I highly recommend that you try it before the zucchini supply diminishes.
Also-surprise! During the summer I barely turn my oven on….in fact, I only use it for bread baking, pizzas, and the rare baked dessert that’s too large to fit in my toaster oven. In my opinion, a toaster oven is essential in the ninety-plus degree Tennessee heat. I baked these right in my toaster oven on the little pizza pan that came with it!
Crispy Oven-Fried Zucchini
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||30 minutes|
|Meal type||Side Dish, Snack|
- 2 Small zucchini (sliced on the bias to a 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness)
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 1 egg
- olive oil spray (I use a Misto. If you don't have olive oil spray, you can use cooking spray, though it's not my first choice.)
- salt and pepper
|Preheat a baking sheet or stone in a 350 degree oven. Thinly slice the zucchini to the desired thickness.|
|Prepare your breading station: beat the egg in one bowl and place the bread crumbs in another.|
|When the oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet or stone. I like to spray a little olive oil on the pan. Bread each zucchini slice by dipping it in egg, letting the excess egg drip away, then dipping it in panko. I keep this as mess-free as possible by using one hand for wet dipping and one hand for dry dipping.|
|As you bread each slice of zucchini, place it on the prepared pan. Once all of the slices have been breaded, spray them lightly with olive oil spray then sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper.|
|Bake for ten minutes, turn the slices and spray again, and bake for another ten minutes. Serve immediately with tomato sauce, your favorite dressing, or even ketchup!|