Here we are again with something NEW for you to do with your zucchini this summer! I’m so in love with this dish…I mean seriously it’s one of my new favorites hands down. How could you not love zucchini Parmesan?! Think chicken parm but with zucchini.
Zucchini Parmesan has everything that it’s original meat themed dish has, but WITHOUT the meat. Cutlet sized pieces of zucchini are fried to have a golden brown crust while you prepare a homemade tomato sauce to go with it. Then, of course, you get your topping of mozzarella cheese melted in top of the zucchini to finish it off right.
Time to Brainstorm
I’m not going to lie, I’m specifically proud of this dish. Admittedly, since my family and I went on vacation, it’s been hard for me to think of dishes or food to write blog posts about. It’s not that the motivation isn’t there. It’s just like the idea generator is on the fritz.
However yesterday, in a couch based brainstorming session with my wife and I, it seems we struck gold.
It started with some meatballs we had in the freezer. I think we were leaning towards Italian themed from the beginning that why we kept going back to those. Also, in the last two weeks, we’ve played around with some renditions of a quick tomato sauce using a can of crushed tomatoes and a few dry seasoning. With that tomato sauce came a dinner where we used my ZIPPY ZUCCHINI CAKES recipe, but served them with some tomato sauce. This was AMAZING, and brought about this idea of zucchini Parmesan. It seemed the only thing missing from those zucchini cakes was some fresh mozzarella broiled on top and a bed of noodles to rest on. That idea seemed to fall to the wayside for a week of so until we found ourselves really digging for something to have for dinner that we could write a recipe for too.
Hold the Meat
Another big driver for coming up with the zucchini Parmesan, was our recent drive stick to a plant based diet. My wife and I are always very close in what we eat. We e also been reading and watching more about the effects that animal products have on our bodies. It’s a shocker to be blunt. This is coming from the guy that was raised on bacon, hot dogs, whole milk, and everything fried in lard that was kept in a bucket on the counter by the stove.
I’m not going to preach about not eating meat. I’m not going vegan, at least not all together and not all at once. I can promise you however, I am going to make a conscious effort to limit my meat, and any dairy product.
BACK TO THE DISH
I think my favorite thing about the zucchini Parmesan is the breading on the zucchini. Everything pairs great together, but this breading takes the lead for me. It gives you such a crisp coating, and the Italian seasonings along with the Panko and shredded Parmesan cheese have such a pop a flavor. Add your quick homemade tomato sauce and oh ho ho….
(Forget about it)
For something with multiple steps, this dish moves fairly quickly. Also, my wife cooked this up with me, (which is usually the case), and was it pretty fun for two of us. It’s perfect for a couple to make, but not too complicated for someone to handle by their selves.
Seriously, you have to give this a try. When you serve this to your family, your partner, friend, or whoever, you’ll feel like you should be wearing a bright white button up with a black waste apron and offering them a wine pairing. It legitimately tastes and feels like someone prepared it in a traditional Italian kitchen.
Be prepared to surprise yourself with yet another use for your zucchini this summer. AND another meat alternative dish.
**My mix was oregano,basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, and marjoram. Use all of these if you have them or whichever of these you have on hand.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2-3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 2-3 tbsps italian seasoning**
- 1/2 cup-1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 whole pound fresh mozzarella
- Slice your zucchini lengthwise into planks. If your zucchini is longer, cut the planks in half . (see picture in post)
- Mix the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings together. Set up a dredging station with plates or shallow containers with the flour, egg, and breading in that order.
- In a large skillet, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Bread your zucchini planks starting the flour, then dipping in egg, then the bread crumbs. Take extra care to really pat the breading into the zucchini.
- Fry the zucchini for 4-5 minutes each side, or until breading is dark golden brown.
Serve over my Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce or your favorite pre-made sauce, and pasta of choice. Angel hair was perfect!