Fried Zucchini with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Zucchini has to be one of the most prolific as well as versatile garden vegetable ever grown. Imagine Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump saying that zucchini is the fruit of the earth-you can barbecue it, bake it, broil it, saute it;”deys uh”-zucchini Parmesan, stuffed zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini soup, zucchini bread—–. You get the message?After eating the tasteless, over-breaded fried zucchini at some of the large chain restaurants, I had forgotten how wonderful really good fried zucchini could be until I made this recipe. Crisp golden spears of tender zucchini served with a chipotle ranch dressing-unbelievable! With the proper temperature of the oil, frying the zucchini is a breeze, the hot oil sealing off the vegetable so it won’t be soggy and full of grease. The combination of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs gives a light crispy outer layer.Fried Zucchini1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs from toasted bread3/4 tsp salt2 large eggs3 medium zucchini, cut into 3 inch long by 1/2 inch piecesPut enough oil in a pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 350 degrees F.Combine Parmesan, bread crumbs and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs in another medium bowl. Begin dipping zucchini in beaten egg-let excess drip back into pan. Coat the zucchini completely in the bread crumb Parmesan mixture. Place on baking pan. Repeat with remaining zucchini.In hot oil, fry zucchini in batches until golden brown-about 2-3 minutes. Don’t crowd in the pan. Remove when browned and drain on paper towel.Arrange zucchini on plate and serve with Chipotle Ranch Dressing. Recipe follows.Chipotle Ranch Dressing2 garlic cloves, minced1/2 teaspoon salt1/3 cup mayonnaise2 tablespoons buttermilk1/2 to 1 small chipotle en adobe, minced3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves1 scallion, green and white parts, thinly sliced1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zestMash minced garlic and salt together to make a coarse paste. Scrape into a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix together for a creamy dressing.Recipes adapted from Food Network

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9 Comments

  1. Deborah
    September 16, 2007 / 9:33 pm

    This looks wonderful – especially the dressing!! I love zucchini in all forms, fried is no exception!

  2. Kelly Mahoney
    September 17, 2007 / 1:55 am

    Those both look amazing. I’ve never had fried zucchini, but I’d love to try it.

  3. Tartelette
    September 17, 2007 / 7:01 pm

    Love your recipe! You are right about poor quality fried succhini at restaurant: the idea should be first and foremost to showcase the vegetavle and not the breading. Great dippig sauce!

  4. Ali-K
    September 18, 2007 / 1:32 am

    Ah yes, you’re right, you can do so much with Zucchini. Although my workmates did baulk one day when I turned up with zucchini cake! Great recipe.

  5. marye
    September 18, 2007 / 8:55 pm

    mmm..that looks wonderful!

  6. Homesick Texan
    September 20, 2007 / 5:24 pm

    I am such a food for anything chipotle flavored and anything ranch flavored, but surprisingly have never had the two together. I know what’s going on my salad tonight!

  7. Lynnylu
    September 22, 2007 / 7:18 pm

    Deborah-thanks, I love zucchini, too and the dressing is amazing with anything.Kelly-thanks, it’s really easy to fry even with my fear of frying.Tartelette-thanks, we get so used to poor fried zucchini that we forget just how good it is when made well.Ali-k, thanks-I’m sure your zucchini cake was delicious.Marye, thanks, I have made it three times now.Homesick texan, I am a chipotle fan, also. It’s wonderful in pureed sweet potatoes.

  8. The Cooking Ninja
    September 30, 2007 / 7:23 am

    wow! Those zucchini sticks looks so delicious. I’ll have to try them out next time when I have guests over for dinner.

  9. Lynnylu
    October 1, 2007 / 3:15 pm

    Cooking Ninja-They are the best I made in recent years.

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