Fried Squash is delicious, but maybe not always the healthiest choice. I've made fried zucchini sticks before, but when I found this recipe for Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip, I had to give it a try. I'm happy to say that this recipe is delicious! The zucchini is dipped in egg, then in a Panko and Parmesan mixture and baked until golden and crisp. It really does hold up well; the squash did not get mushy and the dip, oh that marvelous dip! This is like a Blooming Zucchini with Sweet Onion Dip. It is creamy and full of caramelized onion flavor with a touch of honey and mustard. Take a bite of those crunchy Zucchini Sticks with the fantastic Sweet Onion Dip and it will be hard to stop yourself from eating the whole thing. They make a fantastic appetizer, but I served it just as a side to some burgers for my husband and myself. This dip is addictive and also very good on chips. You must try this soon. Your taste buds will thank you!
Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
Step-by-steps on their blog
Note-I wanted to use low-fat sour cream instead of the 1 cup of mayo, but didn't have enough so I used a half cup of each, which was really good.
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
a pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Use 8-10 inch long zucchini. Large baseball bats won't work here! The recipe called for the zucchini to be salted and left to sit in a colander for 1 hour, so liquid could be drained. I skipped that step, as I haven't done that with small squash before. The zucchini turned out just fine.
3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into about 3 inch sticks or wedges
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon pizza spices- I used half dried basil and half dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper if desired
2 eggs, beaten
1. Make the dip- Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring often until the onions soften, turn golden and caramelize. This will take 10-15 minutes. Lower the heat if needed so onions don't burn
2. Remove onions from heat and add the vinegar.
3. Place the onions in a food processor. Add the honey and mustard and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Stir in the low fat sour cream, mayo, salt and pepper, and pinch of cayenne. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. To make Zucchini Sticks: Cut squash into about 3 inch long sticks; I cut each zucchini into about 18 sticks, or wedges.
5. Combine the Panko, Parmesan, spices and salt and pepper.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
7. Use 1 hand for dredging the squash in the egg, and the other hand to roll it in the Panko mixture. That will keep the Panko crumbs dry so they will adhere better. Take one zucchini wedge and dip in egg, then roll in the Panko mixture. Don't shake off too many crumbs. They will adhere better as they bake and form a nice crust.
8. Place zucchini sticks on baking sheet. Bake sticks for 12 minutes and check.
They are supposed to be turned at this point, but I baked them for a few more minutes before turning. All together I baked these about 20 minutes. Just watch them so they don't burn.
9. Serve immediately with the Sweet Onion Dip. Enjoy!
Yield: about 3 dozen zucchini sticks and about 1 1/2 cups delicious dip.