With how busy me and Aaron have been lately we barely have time to go food shopping, but we find that it's much more time saving if we do one big trip and try to make a grocery haul last as long as possible. This involves some creative planning and coming up with recipes that share ingredients with one another and scheduling to eat the most perishable food items first. So after a shopping trip it seems like we eat a bunch of avocado themed recipes in a row because those things don't have the longest shelf life. And jeez do we buy a lot of avocados! Love them! Another produce staple for us is zucchini. They end up in so many of our meals. Great taste...great texture...and great for you. Plus, they are the perfect vehicle for flavor. They marry well with so many spices.
So, this is a recipe that puts the zucchini center stage. And it's a great way to utilize your extra zucchini...yeah, when you do big grocery hauls you sometimes buy too much of certain items...and meanwhile, you've got a bunch of zucchinis and no meal plans left.
So...here's a fab way to make use of those yummy zucchini. These are a deelish savory treat that you're sure to make again and again. The dip that we pair these with is for a more "adult" palette. We are into onion and sharp, strong flavor...and this dip is all of that and then some. But you could go in other directions if that's not your deal. Marinara would be perfect...or even any of your fave dressings. The zucchini sticks are pretty darn versatile and their baked golden buttery goodness goes great with lots of flavors.
You will need:
3 Medium sized zucchinis (about 8"-10" long)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
about 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs
dash crushed red pepper flakes
2 Large eggs or egg substitute
1 tablespoon salt
After cutting up your zucchini you want to "sweat" as much moisture out of them as possible. To do this place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let them drain for 1 hour or longer.
Now while they drain let's make our Sweet Onion Dip!
You will need:
1 Medium Sweet Onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 cup light sour cream ( you can also use plain Greek yogurt, or Mayonnaise)
In a medium sized pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, and once hot, add your chopped onion.
You want to cook the onion until it softens, then caramelizes, stirring occasionally. At medium-low heat this will take between 20 and 25 minutes. It takes a little while but it's better to keep the heat fairly low in order not to burn your onions.
Remove the onions from the heat when they are medium brown.
Now in a blender or food processor, combine all of the caramelized onions, cider vinegar, honey and mustard. Process until fairly smooth.
Now in a medium sized bowl combine your onion mixture with your sour cream (or mayonnaise). You will have a bunch left over, which you can use for other snacks or as a condiment in sandwiches or wraps!
So after your zucchini is done draining in the colander rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any excess salt. Then pat them dry.
They are now ready for their bread and cheese coating. But first, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.
In a shallow bowl or dish combine your Panko, grated cheese, herbs, and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Now make a little egg bath for the zucchini. You can either beat 2 large eggs or pour a 1/2 cup of egg substitute into a bowl.
Then dip each zucchini stick into the egg, then roll them in your breadcrumb mixture, and place breaded zucchini sticks on prepared baking pans.
Bake the sticks for about 12 minutes, or until they start to brown. Then take them out of the oven to turn them over. You might be able to flip a bunch at once using a spatula...or you can turn them over one at a time by hand or with tongs. Bake for an additional 12 to 16 minutes or so, until they are golden brown and crisp.
It's time to plate up your zucchini sticks and dip and enjoy! Again, the sticks are the star of the show and you can go lots of ways with the dip if you like.
We hope you love these as much as we do!
xo, Jenny...and Aaron
*adapted from a recipe by King Arthur Flour