Sometime last week deep into the summer squash harvest, I realized we don’t have an ovenbaked summer squash recipe in our archives! This recipe easily remedies that problem. While I was thinking about the deep-fried zucchini sticks from the chicken wing stand down the street from where I grew up, I didn’t want to bust out a candy thermometer and a bunch of oil. If you’re looking for the comfort crispy taste of fried vegetables, without all the fuss, you must try oven-frying!
I first came across the idea of oven-frying for this deeply satisfying Eggplant Parmigiana. It cuts the kitchen clean-up at least in half, and all you need is a slick of good olive oil an baking sheet instead of cups of high heat oil. For the summer squash “chips” I found a lot of recipes that were using a panko-parmesan breading. Ours is made with homemade breadcrumbs, parmesan, and local eggs. The breading takes a little while, but it’s hardly any work to get these out of the oven. They won’t last long, so I recommend them as a snack with friends, dinner side, or even an afterschool snack!
I got a few tips here and there, ultimately adapting this barely from Smitten Kitchen & 100 Days of Real Food. One great tip from 100 Days of Real Food is to use 1 hand as your wet hand for the egg wash, and 1 hand as your dry hand for the breadcrumb mixture. The only thing I would change next time is to work with about 1/2 the dry mixture at a time, it got a little wet at the end. Just press the breadcrumbs onto each slice, flip, and press again. These are super crispy and especially addictive with this easy Smoked Paprika Aioli!
Summer Squash Parmesan Chips with Smoked Paprika Aioli
1 lb summer squash (about 2, any variety)
1 1/2 cups panko or homemade breadcrumbs 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
salt & pepper
Smoked Paprika Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Coat two baking sheets with olive oil and set aside. (I pour a drizzle of oil over the sheets, then spread it with a silicone brush)
Slice zucchini into /4-inch thick rounds.
Combine cheese, crumbs, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Place the eggs in a separate bowl and lightly beat them. Set the bowls up near the baking sheets so you can bread them, then arrange them on the sheets.
Dip each zucchini slice in eggs, hold it up over the bowl to let the excess run off. Place the slice into the bread crumb mixture, sprinkle some over the top and press onto each slice. Flip and repeat.
Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. Bake until crisp 20 – 25 minutes. You can flip halfway through, but mine were fine without flipping and super crispy. Use a spatula to transfer to a rack for cooling and enjoy at once with the aioli.
To make the aioli, combine all the ingredients, except the salt in a small bowl. Mix to thoroughly combine, then season with salt and pepper.
Recipe Note: Our breadcrumb recipe works perfectly with gluten free bread.