Friday, September 5, 2014

Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Rounds with Garlic Aioli

I always hate to see summer winding down. Summer is simply too short. Period. I miss the farmer's markets, veggies, fruits, watching the vendors and being outside. So, as we move into the fall months I figured we should try to enjoy the remaining summer bounty as best possible!

One vegetable in particular that gets a bad rap in our family is zucchini--"its mushy" "i dont like the texture", etc.  How do you counter that? Well...typically by deep-frying it as they do at Maggiano's here in Chicago--then everyone wants a piece, but unfortunately, it is not the healthiest of options, nor the most convenient to have a large vat of hot fat boiling in an off-campus apartment kitchen!


So, when this recipe was featured by Ellie Krieger from Food Network, it seemed like the perfect solution for eating these veggies! Obviously, not as good as deep fried, but still a nice healthy, crunchy alternative. Surprise yourself! Eat your veggies! Make Mom proud!


Tip: It is critical to slice the rounds 1/4" and not bigger...unless you want mushy!

Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Rounds with Garlic Aioli

Equipment:
Functioning oven
Baking sheet
PAM Spray


Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini, approx 1 lb total, 1/4" slices
1-2 Tbls olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan
1/4 cup dry Italian or plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne
Freshly grated black pepper


Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayo (substitute greek yoghurt for 1/4 cup for healthier version)
1/2 lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch cayenne
Salt & Pepper

Instructions:
1. Wash your hands and the zucchini.
2. Preheat your oven to 450F degrees.
3. Spray your baking sheet with PAM spray.
4. Slice the zucchini into 1/4" rounds, no bigger!! Avoid mushy.


5. Combine zucchini rounds with olive oil, salt and pepper.
6. Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.


7. Dip your zucchini rounds into the parmesan mixture to coat both sides evenly.




8. Place in a single layer on baking sheet and bake until golden brown & crisp, approx 25-30 min.


9. Combine all of the dipping sauce ingredients with a whisk.



10. Add a teaspoon of water if too thick. Add a little olive oil if too 'lemony'. Adjust salt & pepper.


11. Put everything on a platter and dip in!