Baked Zucchini Fries with Onion Dipping Sauce
What you need:
~ Zucchini Fries ~
3 medium zucchini cut into spears – about 3″ long and 1/2″ across
1 teaspoon kosher salt OR 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
Olive oil spray OR olive oil (for greasing the pan)
**FYI: Instead of Panko bread crumbs and a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, I just used Italian seasoned bread crumbs from Harris Teeter. I’ve also read on other pins for the same recipe that you can use Panko with any seasoning you would like (Lawry’s, paprika, etc.). You can be creative with this recipe!
~ Onion Dip ~
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of cider OR white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of stone ground OR Dijon mustard (I used Dijon)
1 cup of sour cream (light or regular, not non-fat)
Salt and pepper to taste
**FYI: 2 things –
1) I think Greek yogurt would be awesome in this! I would have used it but found that I was completely out…sad day.
2) I found that it needed a little bit more vinegar…the caramelized onions and honey make the dip pretty sweet, so the vinegar helps to cut through that sweetness. Just add a little bit at a time until you’re pleased with it!
What to do:
Cut your zucchini into spears. When cutting them, make sure you try to get rid of as much of the center as you can (the seedy, mushy part). Place the zucchini fries in a colander that’s sitting in a mixing bowl and sprinkle them with your salt. Toss it together, making sure all of the fries are coated in salt (you may need to add a little more). Let them drain for at least two hours in the fridge.
**FYI: When you’re doing this, you’re drawing the moisture out of the zucchini. I put a paper towel in the colander because it helped with draining the zucchini. I didn’t have two hours to wait for them to drain, so I let them go for about an hour and then laid them out in between more paper towels, gently pressing down on them to get more moisture out. This seemed to work pretty well.
While you’re waiting on the zucchini to drain, make your dip. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a saute pan. Add your onions and cook them for about 20 minutes (medium/low heat). Try to keep them moving as much as you can until they are mostly browned and caramelized (sweeter flavor!).
Take the pan off the heat and drop in your vinegar. Stir for a few seconds and then pour everything into your food processor with the honey, mustard, and sour cream. Blend everything until combined. Be sure to taste it and season it with salt and pepper. Into the fridge it goes! (The longer it sits in the fridge, the better. The flavors need to come together!)
Now comes the fun part. Time for a dredging station. You will need 2 wide, shallow bowls for this:
1) Combine the panko, Parmesan, flour, and Italian seasoning (OR Italian bread crumbs, Parmesan, and flour) into one bowl.
2) Beat your eggs together in the other bowl
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with olive oil, OR use a non-stick baking sheet and spray the pan directly or grease very lightly.
**FYI: I NEVER have parchment paper in my house and things are never “ruined”, but I would be interested to see the difference it makes. Needless to say, I didn’t use it, so don’t worry if you don’t have it.
I’m sure you’ve all breaded/dredged something in your life, so you know to use a wet hand and a dry hand. Use one hand for dipping the zucchini in the egg and the other for coating with the bread crumb mixture. Place close together on a baking sheet, but don’t let them touch.
Bake for 12 minutes. Take them out, turn them all over with tongs, and bake another 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately with your onion dip.
**FYI: These zucchini fries would be awesome served with marinara sauce, too!!