Fried Zucchini with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Lemon from 'Franny's'


[Photograph: John von Pamer]

Fried vegetables make up a substantial chapter in the new Franny's cookbook. Rather than serving a plethora of deep fried cheese sticks and onion rings dipped in tomato sauce, Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens take a lighter approach. Many of the fritti, like these fried zucchini sticks, are pieces of vegetables coated in a light tempura-like batter and given a quick dip in hot oil. The thin batter puffs and turns a light golden-brown, leaving the zucchini tender throughout, yet still bright green within. Freshly ground black pepper, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a squeeze of lemon are all they need as a finishing touch.

Why I picked this recipe: Zucchini are just starting to appear in markets right now, so it was the perfect time to give this lightly fried take a try.

What worked: The club soda, flour, and cornstarch batter was perfect for the zucchini. Lemon, pepper, and Parmesan were the only additions that the tender-crisp vegetables needed.

What didn't: I had a hard time getting the batter to stick to the first batch of zucchini, no matter how dry they were before hitting the bowl. I added 2-3 more tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture and then had more success.

Suggested tweaks: You could fry other vegetables in a similar manner. I'd give whole scallions, asparagus, and green beans a try first.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Franny's to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at

Serious Eats Newsletters

Keep up with our latest recipes, tips, techniques and where to eat!


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: