Many of you have zucchinis galore right now whether you’re growing them yourselves, getting them through a CSA, or from the nice lady at church who is trying to give zucchini to everyone she sees. I know I had a zucchini week while I was on vacation, but that was only 3 of many many recipes I make with zucchini. So I thought today would be a great recipe for people who aren’t necessarily a fan of zucchini. Yes, deep frying it takes away some of the health benefits, but if you’ve got a bunch of zucchini you can’t get your family to eat, this is your recipe! Even the staunchest non vegetable eater I know loves these crispy coated bites of hot zucchini goodness.
It’s tough being back from vacation, but this recipe brings back some awesome memories of those places where time seems to stand still. I did quite a bit of community and professional theater in Hawaii, I’ve even been in the paper a few times! A lot of the community theater I did was at a theater on a military base (which I also lived on at one point) and just outside the base was a restaurant called Bob’s Big Boy. After countless rehearsals and shows, groups of us theater folk would caravan to Bob’s to wind down and socialize. It was one of those places where you could sit for hours and feel like the world was far away. I’m not really sure why, the food wasn’t spectacular, the staff wasn’t always friendly, but the zucchini sticks and chicken quesadillas were cheap and big enough that three of us could share an order for $2 each including tip. So now when I eat fried zucchini, I feel like I’m transported back to affordable comfort food, zany friends, and endless conversation. Do you have a comfort food that recalls specific memories for you?
Fried Zucchini Sticksserves 4
1 small to medium sized zucchini
1/4 cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the zucchini and slice into 2-2 1/2 inch long cylinders. Cut each cylinder in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4-5 sticks (depending on thickness of zucchini). You want them to be an easy size to bite.
Place your flour, egg and panko in three separate bowls. Mix the egg well with a fork. Add some sea salt and pepper to the panko.
Dip each zucchini stick in the flour, then the egg, then the panko and place on a plate. Once all sticks have been dipped, refrigerate about half an hour.
Five minutes before you’re ready to cook, heat an inch of vegetable oil in a large pot. Using a frying skimmer or slotted spoon, carefully lower the zucchini sticks into the hot oil. Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Serve with ranch dressing for dipping, and eat carefully because they’re hot!
Approximate cost/serving: These are ridiculously cheap to make right now with zucchini in season, only about 30 cents a serving!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes, it’s vegetarian, but not vegan as it does use egg. For gluten free you MUST use a gluten free flour (I’d recommend rice flour) and gluten free panko.
Need some healthier zucchini recipes? Check out my zucchini week…