Who hasn’t succumbed to the crispy, tender, chewy temptation that is a zucchini fry? You know it, the battered and deep-fried appetizer that beckons to you from the menu of your favorite restaurant and that you can almost convince yourself is healthy. I mean, underneath the batter and deep frying, it’s zucchini, right? Well if you’ve played this little game like I have, then you know the sublime taste and satisfyingly full-mouth experience that is a zucchini fry is matched only by the nausea that sets in after eating a whole pile of them!
I decided to try and conquer this disastrous craving by test driving another of Health’s zucchini recipes—Parmesan-Encrusted Zucchini Fries. To accompany the zucchini fries, I selected a Greek yogurt dipping sauce from MyRecipes.com. For what’s a zucchini fry without a dipping sauce? Not sure, and sure I don’t want to know! In the spirit of my last post, in addition to being super tasty, the recipe needed to be healthy (check!) and simple enough for a novice cook to make (also check—just a few ingredients and minimal prep).
I won’t bore you with the details of the shopping and preparation. Needless to say it was pretty quick and simple. What’s more note-worthy, and sort of a minor revelation to a novice cook like me, is that with a few recipes under my belt, I realized I now had some useful ingredients in my pantry—good olive oil, balsamic and white wine vinegar, goat cheese, coarse grain mustard, garlic cloves, extra zucchini, herbs, and more. I really could envision the start of a virtuous cycle of healthy cooking, eating, and maximum flavor satisfaction.
Okay, there was one mishap I have to mention, since I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I made. Thinking I could be extra healthy, I used whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. The panko wouldn’t stick and neither would the Parmesan—the particles were too big and heavy to adhere to the egg white-coated zucchini. I ended up hauling myself back to the grocery store and getting regular, seasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs and more finely grated Parmesan.
All right, after all this build up, how did they taste? FANTASTIC, that’s how! Crispy on the outside and tender and chewy on the inside, they had the texture and flavor I craved. Like regular zucchini fries, I couldn’t stop eating them. (And I demolished that dipping sauce, which was creamy and zesty.) What’s more, having my fill was really no problem, because unlike regular zucchini fries, there was no trace of queasy nausea afterward. In fact, I felt great.
If you decide to try this recipe, let us know what your thoughts by posting a comment here or on the recipe page.