Baked zucchini fries with tomato coulis dipping sauce

Ingredients

1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion

2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fries

1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 2-inch-long and 1/4-inch-thick pieces (peel first, if desired, and avoid round pattypan squash — the shape does not lend itself to fries)

 

Preparation

1. Combine all the coulis ingredients in a blender and pureé. Transfer to a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until fragrant and warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Place the flour in another medium bowl and the beaten eggs in a smaller bowl.

4. Dip the zucchini sticks first in the flour until lightly coated, then in the beaten eggs. Roll them in the bread-crumb mixture until well covered.

5. Transfer the zucchini pieces to a nonstick baking sheet and bake until the zucchini is tender but the coating is crisp, about 20 minutes. Let the fries cool slightly before eating. Serve with the coulis as a dipping sauce.

Tip: Yellow summer squash (like the long crookneck and round pattypan varieties), golden zucchini, and common green zucchini (pictured here) are interchangeable, so choose whatever looks freshest. The ones that are shiny-skinned and taut, not rubbery, are your best bet.

• Rachelle Bachran is public health educator, Hawaii State Department of Health, Lihue.

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