The crispiest and easiest vegetable treat you can make!
Autumn is officially here!
And you’d probably expect me to start sharing nice, warm recipes for comfort foods.
But nope! I’m feeling kind of rebellious today. After all, here in Greece, the weather may be trying to shift to its fall habits, but the real autumn chill is yet to arrive. The nights may have grown bigger but most days are still warm and sunny, allowing all our summer memories to linger at the back of our minds, making us reach for their tastes and smells.
So what do you think? Shall we welcome autumn by savoring the last summer flavors?
Because, honestly… Don’t you just love the smell of summer memories?
What smell? All memories do have a smell. Really! And if you have ever spent even a few summer days in Greece, those memories probably have a smell of salty sea breeze combined with fresh grilled fish or seafood and ouzo.
But my own Greek, summer memories are a bit different. I spent most of my childhood summers in a small, mountainous village up in the north of Greece. No sea breeze there, no fresh fish or seafood. The small, country kitchens smell of freshly-cut, organic vegetables, grown by the house owner in the back-yard garden and cooked by the lady of the house with generous amounts of passion, excitement and love. Most of the times they use traditional recipes that have been passed from one generation to the other together with all the little, delicious secrets for guaranteed success. Real culinary gems that they’re always willing to share if they get a compliment for their cooking skills.
Stuffed tomatoes and peppers, briam, mousaka, stuffed courgette flowers, papoutsakia and so many other vegetable recipes come to mind. But the smell that really dominates my summer memories around my mom’s kitchen is the smell of fried zucchini.
Such a simple thing to make but so crispy and full of taste! Such a treat!
And so unhealthy… As all things deep-fried are.
And it may be ok to enjoy them once in a while but during the summer months, zucchinis were on the menu much more often. So I had to find another way to make something with them. I tried countless recipes for baked zucchinis that could at least come close to the savory taste of the fried ones. Plain, with lemon, garlic, parmesan, grilled, baked in parchment paper, you name it, I’ve tried it!
And I decided! The best recipe for zucchini in the oven is… my mom’s! The one she replaced deep-fried zucchini with after she became healthy-oriented. I had shared this recipe at my old greek blog and it had soon become a hit!
Crispy, baked, tasty, light and healthy. All you need is fresh zucchini and just three more simple ingredients! You can use big ones and cut them in circular slices or smaller ones and slice them lengthwise. You’ll notice that I haven’t used quantities in the recipe because, well, they don’t really matter. You can make as many as your heart desires!
Crispy baked zucchini
What you need:
• All-purpose flour
• A little vegetable oil for sprinkling
What to do:
– Wash the zucchini, clean the edges and cut into thin slices, about ¼ inch / half a centimeter. (The thinner they are, the crispier they’ll be!)
– Arrange them on kitchen paper towels and add salt. Let them stand for 20 minutes.
– Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
– By now, you’ll be able to see small water droplets on the surface of the zucchini. Dry them slightly with paper towel.
– Put flour in a bowl. Add zucchini one by one and toss them around until they’re fully covered. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
– Sprinkle or brush them with vegetable oil.
– Bake for 35-40 minutes .
Enjoy them warm because as they cool down, they lose their crispiness. Serve them with favorite dips like Greek tzatziki or guacamole.
You can also use them on toasts, in sandwiches and in burgers.
One thing is certain: you won’t be able to get enough of them!