Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pecorino-Crusted Baked Zucchini Crisps

The garden is still putting out plenty of zucchini and I'm trying to prepare it every which way I can think of to keep us from getting sick of it. While some people bemoan the excessive productivity of zucchini plants, I love it! There is so much you can do with zucchini - from savory dinners to easy sides (like this recipe below) to sweet treats. Having 2 zucchini plants along with 2 squash plants in our garden has definitely cut down on the produce bill this summer.

For tonight's meal, I made some pecorino-crusted baked zucchini crisps to go with our grilled chicken. These are fairly quick to prepare and full of texture and flavor. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside -- and lots of flavor from the pecorino cheese.*

*Pecorino is similar in taste to Parmesan cheese, but has a slightly more assertive flavor and a little more saltiness. I prefer Pecorino, so that's usually what I have on hand, but Parmesan would also work fine in this recipe.

Though I cut my zucchini in rounds, you can also cut them into spears to make "fries." I've done this before and served them with burgers -- much healthier than french fries. I bet they'd be a great way to get a child (or partner) who might not normally love "green stuff" to eat his or her veggies, too!
On to the recipe~

Pecorino-Crusted Baked Zucchini Crisps
printable recipe
(Serves 2-3)

1 medium zucchini (about 6-7" long and 1.5-2" wide)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
dash of ground pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with oil
Cut zucchini into slices about 1/4" thick.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Set aside.
In another medium-sized bowl, combine flour, sea salt, dried basil and ground pepper. Set aside.
On a plate, mix together panko bread crumbs and grated Pecorino cheese.
Place zucchini slices in the flour mixture. Toss to coat all sides.
One at a time, dip each zucchini slice into the egg whites, then into the panko-Pecorino mixture. Turn zucchini over a few times to make sure it's well covered with panko. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini slices are coated. (Lay them out in a single layer on the baking sheet.)
Bake at 425°F for 14-16 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Serve immediately. (They will start to lose their crisp after 10-15 minutes.)


"Prof. Kitty" said...

Thanks for another great zucchini "user upper" ! These sound and look delicious. I like the part about "a child (or partner)", made me laugh :)

Yumgoggle said...

Love to learn that zucchini can be very versatile in the kitchen too. This is such a perfect side dish or perhaps a great snack option as well. Thanks!

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Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) said...

Zucchini is EVERYWHERE and our garden is producing it faster than we can use it. I will keep this recipe on hand for sure :) I looove baked zucchini fries!

Shari TheSaucyGourmet said...

Oh how I wish my garden was producing some zucchini cuz this recipe looks awesome!