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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Yes, It’s Zucchini Time!

By Sherrie Norris

Grilled, stuffed and baked are just a few ways to prepare zucchini. It’s a good thing that there are many options since this is one summer crop most of us can count on in abundance. While other produce in the garden might be questionable, chances are zucchini isn’t one of them.

I am thrilled that we are getting plenty of zucchini, and it comes as no surprise that they are producing overnight, it seems. We should be grateful (and we are) that anything has survived the unpredictable weather that we’ve all experienced in recent weeks. Our friends in the piedmont are losing crops by the day due to extreme heat and lack of rain, so I’m glad for what we can get.

Our beans, corn and tomatoes seem to be taking the slow train this summer, and seeds we purchased for cucumbers are producing something we’re not familiar with – maybe spaghetti squash?

Thankfully, the farmer’s markets are still offering a bounty of fresh produce each week that has survived the strange weather pattern that we’ve experienced.

Let’s enjoy what we can, while we can — and don’t forget to share the extras with neighbors and the local food pantries.


Low Carb Zucchini chips

¼ cup ground almonds

¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp. seasoned salt

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 Tbsp. fat-free milk

2½ cups (1/4 – inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in dry mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.


Zucchini Tots

1 cup zucchini, grated

1 large egg

¼ medium onion, diced

¼ cup reduced sharp cheddar cheese, grated

½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

Grate zucchini into a clean dish towel; wring out excess water from zucchini. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill each muffin section to the top; pushing down on the filling with spoon will keep it compacted so they don’t fall apart when removed from the tin.

Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the tops are golden.

Use plastic knife or rubber spatula around the edges of each tot to remove them from the tin.


Simple Zucchini Side Dish


Olive oil


Sliced tomatoes, halved

Salt and pepper to taste

Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, shredded, or mixture of both

Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and then slice a little off the bottom of each piece to keep it level. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic. Top with sliced tomato halves, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 for 20 to 30 minutes until soft.


Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries

3 medium zucchini

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 pkg. Shake & Bake coating mix

1 small egg

Trim zucchini; cut crosswise in half then cut each piece into ¼ -inch sticks. Add cheese to coating mix in shaker bag; shake gently to combine.

Whisk egg in medium bowl. Add zucchini; toss to coat. Use tongs to place ¼ of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat. Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining zucchini.

Bake for 12 to 13 min. or until golden brown.


Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

2 medium zucchini

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbs. olive oil

¼ tsp. kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with vegetable spray.

Slice zucchini into ¼- inch thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.

In shallow bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Place rounds in crumb mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing mix into zucchini as needed. The mixture will not completely cover each round, but provides a light coating on each side. Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumb mixture over the rounds.

Bake for about 23-25 minutes, until golden brown.