Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trying to make it easy by not frying it

No-Fry Fried Zucchini is just as good as it sounds. Yeah.

I'm always looking for new sides to go with pasta. Sometimes we'll just toss a whole bunch of veggies together, maybe some ricotta, and stop there. I've already written about the no-cream creamed spinach, but I was ready to try something different. We made actual fried zucchini once, I think it was when we were frying eggplant for eggplant parm. We also battered and fried some pickles, at Alex's request. This no-fry breading pretty much just fell off, but the zucchini was good. Maybe next time I'll try a recipe for oven-fried battered zucchini.

3 zucchini, sliced or made into "fries"
1 egg
Store bought breadcrumbs, seasoned
Grated Parmesan
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400F. Yes, for this I did something I almost never do -- I preheated the oven. I used something else I almost never use -- Pam. Spray your baking sheet. I find the smell off-putting, but I used it anyway.

Beat the egg in a low dish. In a second low dish, mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan. I used about 3 parts breadcrumbs for 1 part Parmesan. Season it if you wish; I was worried that between the Parm and the seasoned crumbs the breading would be too salty. I thought it was fine; Alex added salt.

Coat the zucchini strips in egg, then breading, and lay across the baking sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Now, the recipe I used instructed me to spray Pam on top of my breaded zucchini. First of all, I didn't want to do this, but on second thought I decided to give it a real try. When I spritzed my Pam at the zucchini, the breading flew off! So none of that. It also instructs you to turn them halfway through the cooking time, at about 7 minutes, and I think that is absolutely impossible so I didn't even try. Honestly, though, I'm not sure I would have liked this better if I had tried harder. As I said before, the goodness of the zucchini overpowered the silliness I put it through with my breading and baking.

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