Cook the Book: Parmesan-Crusted Zucchini

If you've ever chosen to eat deep-fried zucchini sticks instead of French fries or mozzarella sticks because you thought they might be a tiny bit healthy, I feel ya. Yes, it is a vegetable, but once breaded and deep-fried, it crosses the border into artery-clogging land. Mollie Katzen's recipe for Parmesan-crusted zucchini from The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without is a great alternative--it gives you the crunchy outside and the tender insides of zucchini sticks, but with an extra kick from the Parmesan and crushed garlic. I would put it in a crusty roll with a little tomato sauce as a twist on the decadent eggplant parm sub.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced or crushed garlic
  • 4 small zucchini and/or summer squash (slender ones, about 6 inches long), halved lengthwise
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. 1.

    Preheat the broiler.

  2. 2.

    Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Turn down the heat, add the garlic, and sauté over medium-low heat for just a minute or two, being careful not to let the garlic brown.

  3. 3.

    Place the zucchini halves facedown in the garlic and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini are just slightly tender when poked gently with a fork.