My favorite, go-to appetizer is always fried zucchini. I am a sucker for fried zucchini on any menu, but it always inhibits me from trying something new.
I have to say though, I was out to dinner with my husband a few weeks ago at Joseph Tambellini’s in Highland Park (http://www.josephtambellini.com/index.html), and I didn’t order the fried zucchini! Instead, we ordered the crab balls with twin sauces. They were phenomenal and I highly recommend them if you’re there. I pretty much recommend everything on their menu, but the crab balls had such a great crust and were so light and fluffy in the center. They were paired with sweet and savory sauces that brought the whole dish together. It was perfect!
Ok, I digress…back to the fried zucchini, I have had the best luck finding quality, fresh, farm-grown zucchini lately. I think I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the past two weeks and trust me, no one is complaining. It requires a quick breading station of flour, egg wash, and Italian bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese. Toss it all together and into the oil they go. I like to serve my zucchini with Greek tzatziki sauce (recipe to come). It’s the perfect cool, garlicky balance to the zucchini. I think you’ll love the simplicity and great flavor in this recipe!
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus some some garnishing
vegetable oil for frying
Slice the zucchini into 1/8 inch circles and set aside.
Prepare a breading station with three shallow bowls of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Add a splash of water to the eggs and whisk thoroughly with your fork.
Place each slice of zucchini into the flour first, coating both sides, then egg wash, and breadcrumbs. Set aside on a plate.
Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in your frying pan. Heat oil over medium-low heat.
Test a pinch of breadcrumbs to see if they bubble in the oil. If they don't, the oil isn't hot enough. If they brown up right away, turn the heat down. You want a little bubble for a slow, continuous fry.
Once you have the right frying temperature, place 5-6 breaded zucchini slices into the oil at a time, depending on the size of your frying pan. You don't want your slices touching.
After 2-3 minutes on the first side, turn each slice over in the oil. Continue until all slices are golden brown.
Place fried zucchini in a paper towel lined baking dish and continue to top each single layer of zucchini with a splash of fresh lemon juice and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Then top with another paper towel and repeat.
Serve immediately or place in the oven on warm until you're ready to serve.