By Alisha Enid
My mother always found ways to spend one-on-one time with each of her three children. Usually she would show up at school, pull one of us out for the day and we would enjoy a special lunch at a restaurant, just the two of us. Those are the days I remember like they were yesterday.
On one of these lunches, she asked if I wanted to share a plate of zucchini sticks. We didn’t really eat zucchini growing up, but I was feeling adventurous that day, so I agreed.
The sensation of the crunchy coating combined with the mild flavour of the zucchini made this dish love at first bite.
Since then, I have tried many versions of zucchini sticks. Baked, fried, coated, uncoated, you name it: they all make me think of those lunches with Mom. To this day, when we go out for lunch, we always share a plate of zucchini sticks. It’s tradition now, and one that I hope to continue with my own sons.
In this version, I went for zucchini rounds rather than sticks, and I coated them in crunchy Panko crumbs combined with Parmesan cheese. Fried to perfection, these zucchini rounds bring me back to my childhood.
Panko-Crusted Parmesan Zucchini Rounds, Courtesy of Alisha Enid, alishaenid.com, Delta, B.C.
A healthier, homemade version of deep-fried zucchini sticks.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes per batch
Yield: 2 servings
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup (250 mL) Panko crumbs
1/4 cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fine sea salt
1 large yellow or green zucchini; cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 cups (500 mL) oil for frying
1. Using three shallow bowls, set up dredging station. In first bowl, combine flour and pepper. In second bowl, beat eggs. In third bowl, stir together Panko, salt and Parmesan cheese.
2. Heat oil in deep cast-iron skillet over medium heat until a breadcrumb dropped in the oil creates bubbles and turns brown.
3. Working in small batches, dredge zucchini rounds in flour, then submerge in beaten eggs and dredge in Panko crumbs.
4. In batches, lower breaded zucchini rounds into hot oil; fry about 3 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Remove from pan; place on paper towel to soak up excess oil. Repeat with remaining zucchini rounds.
Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.
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I am a wife, a mother and a daydreamer; a lover of film, food and photography. You can usually find me in the kitchen, behind the camera or chasing after my boys.