By Angela Denstad Stigeler
While zucchini’s abundance is legendary, it rarely gets to be a star. Plainly sautéed, it slumps at the side of any number of main dishes, or gets relegated to an inconspicuous filler of breads and cakes. But it can be a knock-out with the right coating and saucy accessory. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a vegetable more chic than these crispy zucchini oven fries. Dressed up in a classic bread coating, they play up great texture contrasts, while keeping lean in the oven instead of being fried. Though nice on the side for a sit-down meal, they make elegant hors d’oeuvres and, as finger food, are perfect in a cocktail party buffet. The easy cocktail sauce accompaniment makes them irresistible. So spice things up by dressing some hot little zucchini fries. They’ll leave you asking for an encore.
Zucchini Oven Fries with Cocktail Sauce
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 pound zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick sticks, 4-5 inches long
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and generously grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, mixing until well combined.
In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.
Place the zucchini in the bowl with the flour and toss until well coated. Dip the zucchini into the egg a few pieces at a time, and then into the breadcrumbs, pressing lightly to adhere. Place breaded zucchini on the baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cayenne in a small bowl until smooth. Serve with the hot zucchini fries.