Seeing a bin of zucchini at Tucson CSA this week felt as refreshing as the first August monsoon. After months of winter greens, the sight of the familiar green summer vegetable was a tangible sign that the season is indeed changing. While I will undoubtedly be scratching my head trying to figure out how to make summer squash disappear in a few months, for now I’ll eat it the best way I know how to: Parmesan Breaded Zucchini.
My kohlrabi-eating self can hardly believe that I was once an extraordinarily picky child that only ate zucchini that my grandmother (lovingly called “Nanny”) breaded in her homemade breadcrumbs and pan fried in a not-so-shallow pool of olive oil at the bottom of her 60-year-old cast iron skillet. It was the Italian way; it was the delicious way. While I may have branched out in terms of zucchini preparation, both the smell and taste of Parmesan Breaded Zucchini bring me back to a simpler time.
Luckily, you don’t need an heirloom skillet or even an Italian grandmother to make this Parmesan Breaded Zucchini. The simple recipe calls only for a few good ingredients that you’re likely to have in the kitchen right now: stale bread, real Parmesan, parsley, olive oil, eggs, and zucchini. So here’s what you do: cut those zucchini (or “zukes,” as my Nanny calls them) up, dredge them through your egg and wonderfully seasoned breadcrumbs, fry them in some olive oil, and serve them as an apetizer with a nice crisp glass of white wine. Share them with a bud, or keep them all for yourself (I wont tell).
Nanny tip: Mix together the leftover breadcrumbs and egg and fry the mixture up like a pancake in the remaining olive oil. These “gupettis,” as we call them in my family, may or may not be the most wonderful comfort food you’ll ever have.