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.
Read more: In Season: Summer Squash
- 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
Preheat the broiler.
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.
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.