Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

At the start of the year we considered building a raised garden box so I could plant veggies to enjoy this summer.  For a variety of reasons, we decided against it, and as the summer wore on, I regretted our decision a bit.  I wanted to be one of those people over-run with veggies, trying to find creative ways to use up what I couldn’t share with family and friends.  Given my black thumb, it’s very possible that won’t be the case even with a garden, but already Shane and I have talked about building that garden box next year and giving it a try.  Even if I only managed to grow a few zucchini and eggplant, I’d be one very happy girl!

Without a supply in my backyard, I’ve been forced to buy my zucchini and I think I’ve bought more than I ever had in previous years.  I’ve always loved yellow squash, but zucchini never appealed to me in the same way, so for the most part, I was just baking with it.  That all changed this year though; I’ve kind of grown to love zucchini now, thanks in large part to this recipe.  These Parmesan crisps are one of my new favorite ways to eat zucchini.  Coated with a combination of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, the zucchini rounds bake up crispy on the outside with a tender center.  I prefer to eat them dipped in marinara sauce, but I’ve seen other bloggers mention ranch dressing as an option too.  I think next summer’s mission will be to convince Shane (notoriously anti-veggie) that these are delicious too 🙂  

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
adapted from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger (via The Ginger Snap Girl)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb of zucchini (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon olive oil
marinara sauce for dipping (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Combine the Parmesan cheese, panko, salt and pepper (to taste) in a shallow bowl and set aside.  Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch rounds and place in a medium bowl.  Add the olive oil and toss to coat evenly.  Working with one round at a time, generously coat both sides with the panko mixture – press the crumbs into the rounds to ensure a thick, even coating.  Place the breaded round on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with all of the rounds. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the breadcrumbs are golden and crisp.  Serve warm with marinara sauce, if desired.

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