Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable which is great when gardens are overflowing with zucchini. Sadly, I don’t have a garden, YET. I have a balcony, still devoid of plant life, but no backyard, courtesy of living in an apartment. I was *this close* to signing up for a shareable backyard garden through Sharing Backyards or the Yes In My Backyard through The Stop Community Food Centre. But my mom convinced me not to do it this year as the backyards were a bit further than in my immediate neighbourhood. Our compromise will be a deep dish herb garden for my balcony. However, zucchinis won’t fit in there. It won’t stop me from buying them, though.
Adapted from Closet Cooking, this is an interesting way to bake zucchini into fries. Zucchini is cut into sticks, coated in egg and dredged in Asiago cheese and (panko) bread crumbs mixed with smoked paprika and oregano. My Asiago cheese was freshly grated and I found it a bit difficult to stick to the zucchini when in a 1:1 ratio with the breadcrumbs, so I diluted it with more bread crumbs which helped. I liked the extra smokey flavour brought by the paprika into the crunchy coating. A bonus for this recipe is that the zucchini is baked, not fried. Perfect as a side, and if you make big pieces, great for dipping into a marinara or tzatziki sauce as a appetizer.
This is my submission to Preeti’s Green Gourmet Event at W’Rite’ Food and my second submission to this week’s Blogger Secret Ingredient event, featuring Paprika, hosted by PreventionRD, and this month’s Side Dish Showdown.
Asiago Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup asiago or parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Hungarian smoked sweet paprika
2-3 zucchinis, sliced into sticks (3″ long and 1/2″ thick) and patted dry
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Mix the bread crumbs, cheese, oregano and paprika in a bowl.
2. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper.
3. Dip the zucchini in the egg and then dredge in the bread crumb mixture.
4. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet in a single layer with the skin side down.
5. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
6. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.