Zucchini fries

It is definitely that time of year when zucchini is in full bloom. So far, I have received one or more of this veggie at work, from Mr. FeistyEats work place and at the Farmer’s Market. I can remember my Mom eating zucchini when I was little. Her and my grandmother liked it dredged in flour and fried in butter or oil if I remember? I always thought it was gross. But as an adult, I have come to appreciate its (mild) flavor. It is generally a savory dish but can also be served as a sweet dish in desserts. Recently, I have enjoyed slicing it into long strips, seasoning them with olive oil and seasoned salt and grilling them. Mr. FeistyEats isn’t crazy about them.

I came across a recipe in the Fargo Forum for zucchini fries. With a name like that, I figured they were fried. Of course, I am a fan of fried foods, but we know how unhealthy they can be and how bad they can stink up your house. As I read on, I saw the article was by Sue Doeden, a local chef in Minnesota, and I have used recipes from her before. These fries were baked, not fried. I knew I’d give them a try.

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I got this big bad boy from a co-worker! I halved the recipe and just used most of the portion on the right. The left side is TBD…maybe a dessert?

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I peeled off the skin with a veggie peeler. I saw in Sue’s article she left the skin on – whatever you prefer. I also used a mandolin to slice my zucchini because 1) I am lazy and 2) I had it out already. Smile 

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Assemble your ingredients and stations for breading…egg, flour and bread crumbs with seasoning. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375*. The recipe called for 350* but I wanted to ensure I got a CRUNCH on my fries. I cannot stand a soggy vegetable when they are supposed to be crisp. Mr. FeistyEats has asked me why I use parchment. For me, it equals easy clean-up and a longer shelf life for my pans that I adore.

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Get your breading stations in order. On the left: WRONG! On the right, right…from left to right. Do you follow? I don’t. Flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. There you go!

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My only complaint is my fingers got pretty messy during the breading process. You can expect that though. Fill up your sheet!

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This is what they look like done. You can see a few spots were messed up from my messy fingers. BUT, you can also see they are browned and crisp!

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You can see the brown crispiness a little better here. I loved these and will make them again. I would recommend adding seasoning to your bread crumbs. Lawry’s, garlic, etc. Also, serve them with a dipping sauce: Ranch dressing, ketchup, BBQ sauce, honey mustard…whatever floats your boat. The mandolin left these pieces thin, so a thicker matchstick might be preferred if you like more zucchini in each bite.

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Here is what Sue has to say about the zucchini fries and some cooking suggestions. My notes are in italics. Thanks for sharing the recipe Sue Doeden!

Baked Zucchini Fries

  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (I used Lawry’s seasoned salt and garlic powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs (I added a bit of water as well, about 1 Tbsp. for 2 eggs)
  • 3 to 5 small or medium zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I baked at 375*.

Cut zucchini lengthwise into pieces 2 inches long and ¼ inch thick. I used a mandolin and cut them in rounds.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Place the flour in another bowl. Beat the eggs in a third bowl.

Using a fork or tongs, dip zucchini sticks first in flour, then in beaten eggs, then roll in the bread crumb mixture.

Lay pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes, until coating is crisp and brown. Serves 6. I flipped half way through. I also cut the recipe in half since Mr. FeistyEats isn’t a fan and I ate them all. In one sitting. Oops.

Recipe from “Flavors of the Arboretum: 101 Tastes of the Season,” Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 2011”

Tips from the cook – Sue, not me!

  • Add more flavorful punch to these fries by adding garlic powder and cayenne pepper to the bread crumb mixture. I also added some minced fresh oregano to the bread crumbs and sprinkled more fresh oregano over the baked fries before serving.
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese scattered over the baked fries adds nice flavor as well as a little bit of saltiness.
  • Panko, light and flaky Japanese-style bread crumbs, are a nice alternative to the more traditional fine bread crumbs.
  • “Flavors of the Arboretum: 101 Tastes of the Season” can be purchased in the gift shop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or online at www.arboretum.umn.edu/giftstore.aspx. You may also call the Arboretum to order a book, (952) 443-1439.
  • Serve with dipping sauce you prefer…Enjoy!
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About Feisty Eats

I love to eat, entertain, exercise and try new life adventures. I am in my 30's and have a great husband, dog (Winston) and cat (Brinklie). I love to try or make new recipes and drink new beers.
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5 Responses to Zucchini fries

  1. Amanda says:

    YAY!
    I can’t wait to try these!
    Always have so many zucchini and not enough time.

  2. Leah says:

    Hi Sara,
    I just tried making some Fried Green Tomatoes. Very ambitious for me! I had some tomatoes growing in pots and they kept tipping over in the wind (pots too small for big plants!) So I picked all the green tomatoes and cut down the plants. I decided to try something with them. They turned out pretty good! Some shredded parmesan in the recipe. Agree on the breading – very messy. The zucchini fries reminded me of them. Keep sharing! Love to hear about the hits and the misses too.

    • Feisty Eats says:

      Thanks for the comment Leah! Great job on your tomatoes. At least you tried! I hope to have a garden next year but we will see. Last time it was a flop. I hate weeding!

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