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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Baked Zucchini Sticks with Sweet Onion Dip

I adore these zucchini sticks, but the recipe is involved and therefore I only make them about once a summer. The breading is flavorful and the dip is mild yet sweet and delicious. The dip really is the key, so don't skip it. I imagine it would be good for dipping other things--perhaps sweet potato fries or raw veggies. The sticks are best fresh, because they get soggy in the fridge. The original recipe called for 3 medium zucchini and I ended up with a pan and a half of sticks, so I recommend a smaller amount of squash.


Baked Zucchini Sticks with Sweet Onion Dip

Adapted very slightly from King Arthur Flour

For the dip:
1 T butter
1 medium sweet onion, about 1/2 lb, peeled and sliced
2 T cider vinegar
2 T honey
1 T prepared mustard
1 c mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This takes 15-30 minutes, depending on how caramelized you like your onions! I like them quite brown in color, which is closer to the 30-minute mark. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.

Once onions are caramelized, remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Place mixture into a small food processor or blender. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth. Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

For the zucchini sticks:
2 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3-inch long sticks
1 T salt
1 c Panko bread crumbs
scant 1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 T Italian seasoning
2 large eggs

Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.

Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning and set aside. Preheat oven to 425.

Dredge zucchini sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately, with sweet onion dip.

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