Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zucchini "Fries?"

Is it appropriate to call a food "fries" if there's no frying involved?

I have to get creative to deal with all the produce coming in now, like the 30-pound bucket of cucumbers dh hauled up from the garden last night.  Okayyyy . . . Did I mention I'm the main cucumber consumer in the house and dh doesn't even like them?

And of course there's always zucchini.  I made a zucchini frittata (Joy of Cooking) the other day, and a stir-fry with sausage--no recipes here for obvious reasons.  But here's a nutritarian-friendly dish I created last night, vaguely inspired by some recipes I've seen lately, like this one from Vegan Mama for eggplant fries.


1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt (soy should be fine)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves (or dry if necessary)
a few grinds of pepper
a sprinkle of salt (optional)
4 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into about sixths and then halved, for finger-sized spears
2 large slices whole-grain bread, in crumbs
1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast if you do that, or omit altogether and try another spice or herb with the crumbs)

Combine yogurt, garlic powder, basil, pepper, and salt and allow to stand while preparing the zucchini. Coat each zucchini spear with the yogurt mixture and set aside on a plate until all are done. Then roll the spears in the mixture of crumbs and parmesan until partially coated on all sides, and arrange on a large cookie sheet which has been smeared with a bit of oil or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. It might be a good idea to add the crumbs to a plate in batches so they're not all moistened by the end of the process, and do note that you won't have enough crumbs to completely coat the spears--but getting enough to hold the zucchini off the cookie sheet surface will allow for a crispier result. Slide the pan of prepared spears into the fridge for a little while and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for about twenty minutes, until the zucchini is tender and the crumbs are crispy.  Serve with a sauce like the lemon-dill sauce in Vegan Mama's recipe above.  I mixed horseradish sauce with more plain yogurt and that was very nice, too.

Verdict: Excellent!  We really enjoyed these, a great way to use up that zucchini!  This made VERY generous servings for four and would easily feed eight people a moderate serving.

Now to use my friend Pam's Bang Bang Chicken recipe, with variations, to work with some of those cucumbers!  Her recipe, from the book Extending the Table, has a sauce component similar to this one on video:  Bang Bang Chicken.  I will report later . . .

1 comment:

  1. Bang Bang Chicken was great! Hubby liked the cooked cucumbers--definitely different!


I'd love to know what you think of these or if you have suggestions for improvements!