Remember that dress that might’ve been white and gold or blue and black? I finally understand how it was possible, because the photo that didn’t make the cut for this article looked strangely like dark brown zucchini wedges on a light blue plate, whereas you can see they were really golden brown on a white plate. Much depends on where you stand while taking the photo.
Anyway — lots of us like the deep fried breaded zucchini sticks we get in restaurants, but we know they’re not good for us. We also know they’re hard to recreate at home, which is probably just as well. This has led some of us on an endless quest for some way to make something similar in the oven instead of in a pan of boiling oil. It’s endless because there are so many possible variations. What to put in the coating — flour, breadcrumbs, both? Should you dip the zucchini in egg first? Maybe milk? What should you season the coating with? How do you cook the zucchini the right amount while getting the coating just to perfect crispness?
This time around, I kept it dead simple. No egg, no flour, no crumbs, not even any salt. The coating consists entirely of Parmesan cheese. The wedges are lightly steamed to make sure they’re cooked through, then coated and broiled for just a few minutes. (I did try baking them at 450℉, but that wasn’t working.) The zucchini flavor intensifies and makes a good base for the salty crispy cheese. No, they’re not just like the deep fried breaded kind, but they’re good in their own way.
Something else that didn’t make it into this article was a failed idea of mine for stacks of zucchini and tomato slices held together by a very young stalk of fennel through the middle — but maybe someday I’ll try them again.
- 1 medium zucchini
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends.
- Cut in half lengthwise.
- Cut each half into two long, semicircular strips.
- Cut the strips into more halves until you have 16 wedges.
- Steam in microwave, with about a teaspoon of water, for 1 minute. (Wedges should be just fork tender.)
- Toss with Parmesan cheese in sealed ziploc bag till coated.
- Arrange on greased broiler safe pan, skin to the side.
- Broil 3-5 minutes or till lightly browned.
- If underside is not browned, turn over and broil about 2 minutes more.
- If it is browned — enjoy.