Friday, August 13, 2010


No, not that baked.  People, people.  I'm referring to the cooking method of BAKING.  And when your child prefers something baked over something fried you know you've hit recipe nirvana.

Don't get me wrong, the occasional fried item is worth every last calorie.   If you use good quality oil, keep it at the right temperature and are mindful of what you are doing the oil really acts as a cooking medium with minimal absorption.  That being said - emphasis on occasional.

This summer we've been cursed blessed with an abundance of zucchini from our CSA.  Personally it isn't one of my favorite vegetables.  I cannot abide it raw, can only eat so much of it stewed, and, while delicious fried, I have a history of heart disease and high cholesterol in my family.  So if I'm going to indulge in something fried, zucchini isn't exactly my go-to choice.

One week, after arriving home with three huge zucchinis (and confronting two leftover from the week before when I went to store them in the vegetable bin), I knew I had to find a healthy and delicious way to get rid of prepare some of them.  Luckily we had some suckers friends coming over to dinner that night.  I figured I could use at least 3 of them in one fell swoop if only I could come up with something delicious.  Dare I say, I did.  When 3 kids under the age of 12 gobble something up and whine when they discover they've eaten all of it you know you've done something right.  Herewith I present to you:

Parmesan Zucchini Crisps*

2-3 medium zucchinis washed, dried and cut into 1/8-1/4" rounds (Any thicker and you lose the Crisps part of this recipe.)
1 or 2 egg whites (The amount of egg depends on how many rounds you end up having.  You can also use whole eggs if you prefer.  I find these are crispier when using only egg whites.)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c panko bread crumbs (It is essential these are panko - see "Crispy" above.)
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Line a baking sheet or 2 with parchment paper (alternatively lightly grease with Pam or other oil spray)
  • Lightly beat the egg whites and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Combine breadcrumbs with Parmesan and mix well to combine.
  • Dip the zucchini into the egg whites and then press both sides into the breadcrumbs/Parmesan mixture.
  • Place on the prepared pan and continue until all of the zucchini is coated.
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes (flipping 1/2 way through the cooking for even browning) until golden brown and crispy.
  • Best enjoyed immediately.
These are also good dipped in ranch dressing or tomato sauce but really they're perfect on their own (if I do say so myself).

I should add that our dinner guests that evening enjoyed this so much they called me last night to get the recipe.  This morning I received the following text:  "My mom made the zuccini (sic) that u made the last time we were there.  It is DELISH!"    And my own child just answered "the zucchini again" when asked "what would you like for dinner tonight?"

*Name compliments of the child

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