by Julie Snyder
What's cheesy and crunchy on the outside while perfectly roasted on the inside? These tasty baked zucchini sticks, that's what!
Even your most health-conscious guest won't be able to help themselves and will savour these indulgent, yummalicious treats.
What's the secret to the "yum factor?" They're baked instead of fried!
To make this the perfect appetizer, combine it with your favorite marinara sauce. It doesn't matter if bought or homemade, you won't be able to keep enough of these sticks on the plate!
Cheese-Crusted Zucchini Strips with Marinara Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes | Yield: 8 servings
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs (for a gluten-free diet, try using crushed corn, crispy rice or rice chex-type cereal or crumbs prepared from gluten-free bread)
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 pound zucchini, sliced into sticks and patted dry
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425°. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oregano in a shallow bowl. Season the zucchini to taste with salt and pepper.
Dip each zucchini strip in the egg and then dredge in the bread crumb mixture. Place the strips on a baking sheet in a single layer with the skin side down. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Panko sounds exotic and unusual, but it's simply the Japanese version of breadcrumbs. Their flakiness makes them crispier than standard breadcrumbs and they tend to absorb less oil. Use Panko as:
- A delicious breading for chicken, fish and seafood
- a great topping for lasagna or casseroles
None on hand? You can make your own from saltines or oyster crackers seasoned with dried thyme, basil, chili powder and freshly ground black pepper, and baked on a cookie sheet until lightly browned.
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