What’s crispy… salty… pairs perfectly with a burger? FRIES! Everyone loves fries, right?! Let me preface… This isn’t SouthernSKINNY… I know that. BUT, trust me on this one. On a recent trip to the Nashville Farmer’s Market, I found some beautiful, locally-grown zucchini. I had planned on making burgers and fries, but saw these and my head started to spin a bit. I’ve grilled zucchini, sauteéd zucchini and (of course) friiiiieeeed zucchini (a personal favorite, as you may expect!). What about baking it? I thought about blending it with some carbs to make a nice zucchini bread. But, wait. Burgers! Burgers, burgers! I couldn’t possibly abandon that idea once it had been in my head. Crispy baked parmesan zucchini fries! That’s it!
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Zucchini is 95% water by weight, so the first thing we need to do is figure out how to pull some of that moisture out so the ‘fries’ don’t end up being a mushy, hot mess. After cutting the zucchini into ~1/4″ sticks, generously salt and let them sit. I generally let them sit for about 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry too much about putting a lot of salt on the zucchini. Trust me!
After the time is up, take a look at the sticks. You will notice water droplets everywhere. Rinse the sticks well with cool water and then dry them well. This process is critical to getting the correct texture of the fries. Without it, you’ll end up with mashed zucchini on a pan instead of lovely, crispy zucchini fries.
After rinsing the salted sticks in cold water (which also gets rid of almost all of the salt you added initially), move to your wet/dry stations. I don’t mean pull out your shop-vac… Setup your egg wash on the left and your dry ingredients on the right. Left hand wet… right hand dry. Say it again with me. Left hand wet… right hand dry. Don’t mix! EVER! This will keep your hands from getting all gummy and gross! Dip the sticks in the egg wash, move one-by-one to the dry and press gently. Don’t think about being clever and tossing them all in the dry ingredients. You’ll end up with something just terrible. Coat and move to a baking sheet. I prefer to line the baking sheet with parchment paper instead of spraying it with non-stick. Spray can cause too much moisture and lead to mushy fries.
Bake these beauties and prepare the dipping sauce. They should brown nicely and have a nice, crispy texture on the outside. Let them cool slightly before serving. Voila! You’ll never want regular fries again! …OK, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but they really are great! A good way to get your kids (or picky adults, such as myself) to eat a few extra vegetables!
- 2-3 zucchini squash
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup bread crumbs, Italian or regular
- 1-2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- Papa John's Seasoning Packet (optional, but amazing!)
- black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup and to prevent sticking. Spray pan instead if no paper.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a prep bowl along with the Parmesan cheese.
- Beat eggs in separate prep bowl.
- Slice zucchini into sticks. Aim for sticks that all have the same general size for even baking. You may leave or remove the skins. I prefer them on!
- Setup your stations... Zucchini on the far left, egg wash next, followed by the dry ingredients.
- Keep your left hand wet, right hand dry! Take individual zucchini sticks and dip them in egg wash using one hand, placing them in the dry ingredients after. Use your dry hand to make sure they are coated well.
- Transfer to baking sheet.
- Cook until golden, about 20 minutes. Flip halfway through.
- Enjoy! ...And one last thing-- Be sure to send us pictures and comments with your results!
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 clove garlic, minced (sub. 1 teaspoon garlic powder if unavailable)
- 1 lime, zested and juiced (sub. 1-2 tablespoon lime juice)
- salt, to taste
- Zest and juice the lime. Lime zest is very robust. I used ¼th of the lime, zested, along with the juice. Fresh lime preferred. Substitute 1-2 tablespoons lime juice, bottled, if required.
- Combine other ingredients.
- Add salt to taste.
- Refrigerate for optimal taste. This will last for a very long time refrigerated. Great on almost everything! Burgers, fries, etc.
- Enjoy! Come back to SouthernFATTY.com and let us know how you liked it!