Baked Zucchini Fries with Balsamic Aioli

Quick update from tornado land: On the way downtown last night for dinner, I noticed two cloud formations that, although not spinning, were certainly the right shape to be one. I told Brent I thought it may be the remnants of a tornado, but then we both thought that at tornado at its end simply disappears. However apparently before crossing the Mississippi, it was infact a tornado in West Memphis, AK which is right across the river. Yikes. On to happier thoughts…

Burgers and fries are the perfect pair. But sometimes I need a little more vegetable in my life which a potato cannot provide (sorry potato, I still love you). When I saw the words ‘zucchini fries’ I knew that was the solution. Especially if they are coated in Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs, then baked instead of fried. Because no matter how much we try to deny it, just because the fried thing you are eating is a vegetable, does not make it a healthy snack.

To go along with the goat-cheese stuffed tomato basil chicken burgers, which were drizzled with balsamic vinegar, I whipped up a balsamic aioli to dip the zucchini in. Pure yum!

BALSAMIC AIOLI

Ingredients:

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2  tsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine the aioli ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

ZUCCHINI FRIES

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchinis

1/2 cup Italian-seasoned Panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup crumbly Parmesan cheese (crumbly, not shreds)

2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a large plastic bag. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 2 eggs together in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Trim zucchini. Cut crosswise in half, then cut each piece into 1/4-inch matchlike sticks; blot with a paper towel.
  5. Add zucchini to the bowl with eggs; toss to coat. Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Source: Zucchini fries adapted from Our Best Bites and Kraft. Balsamic aioli adapted from My Recipes.

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