Baked Zucchini Crisps

bakedzucchinicrisps

I once had a plague of zucchini,
Who’s progeny wasn’t quite teeny.
They shot out each day,
And despite what you say,
The bastards are making me meanie.

HOW MUCH ZUCCHINI IS ONE GIRL SUPPOSED TO EAT?! I ask you that.  The plant has hijacked my garden.  My sorrowful little sweet peppers, struggling to survive under the massive swells of zucchini foliage, have started to perish one by one.  I tied it the jerk up.  The zucchini winked a yellow flower at me and said, “Ooh, you’re into the rough stuff, cowgirl?”  I panicked and cut it back.  It spat and swore, oozing zucchini pus on every other plant in the garden (purely out of spite, I’d say) before coming out bigger, stronger, and SMARTER than ever before.

I may have unwittingly designed a super race of killer zucchini.  Please lock your doors and hide your kittens when the sun sets tonight.

So what do you do when you’ve got so much zucchini that you’re starting to feel a glaze of targeted produce despondency setting over you?  I say, bake the heck out of it until you have a salty little snack.  Because really, nothing seems THAT bad when you’re cramming your mouth full of vegetable treats, right?

Baked Zucchini Crisps

  • 1 mammoth garden sized or 2 regular green zucchini *
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt **
  • freshly ground pepper

* That’s about 1.5 lbs or approximately 700 grams.

** Do you have specialty salts that need to find a home?  This is the perfect way to let them shine.  My cupboard holds not one, not two, but THREE distinct types of smoked salt that I don’t pull out nearly as often as I should. A crunchy fleur de sel would be great sprinkled on as soon as the zucchini crisps come out of the oven, or a smoky-sweet Himalayan pink salt would feel blissfully at home.  However, nothing wrong with good ol’ kosher or sea salt either.  Whatever keeps you humming, I say.

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Preheat your oven to 300ºF, and get ready for a long, sloooooow wait.

Slice the zucchini thin (1/16″ thick) using a mandolin or your supa-fine knife skills.

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Toss the zucchini well with the oil and a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper.  I used about 3/4 tsp of smoked gray salt, because I likes me my salty snacks.

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Spread the zucchini out in an even layer on 2-3 parchment lined baking sheets.

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Bake the zucchini slices in the center of your oven for at least and hour, or up to 90 minutes.  The long, slow, dry bake helps to draw out some of the moisture so they can brown up into crispy deliciousness.  The zucchini are ready when they’re crispy and golden brown most of the way through, with a dry feeling center.

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The edges will still be a bit chewy, but that’s not a bad thing.  Crispy AND chewy in one?  I’m sold.

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Also:  I’m so glad that today wasn’t Weekly Lazy Television Night, or I probably would have eaten them all myself.  Because, hey, that’s what greedy chubbers do when faced with a bowl full of salty snacks.  As it was, I finished off about half of them before I could be bothered to take a picture.

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I just rationalize.  Sure, it’s chewy-crisp zucchini.  But who cares?  It’s  better than Pringles.  Better than Pringles.

  • Stephanie

    Reminds me of the scene in The Witches of Eastwick where Michelle Pfeiffer are asking her what’s for lunch. “Peanut butter and jelly.” “What KIND of jelly?” “…zucchini jelly…” “OH NOOOOO!!!”

  • http://www.ambitiousdeliciousness.com Ambitious

    I’m getting tired of Zucchini myself!

    Hmm.. they look burnt in the middle but I’m hoping they don’t taste burnt? 🙂

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      mmmmm, if by “burnt” you mean tasty-sugar-browned and crunchy! I’m happy just thinking about how good these were.

  • J-Bird

    These look delicious! Do they keep at all, and how best to store them?

  • Madge

    If you’re feeling like a less-healthy zucchini snack, cut them into spears, bread them up like a corn-dog, and deep-fry. Delicious!

  • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

    Stephanie – Is it wrong that you say “Zucchini jelly” and I think, “DELICIOUS”??! Probably.

    Ambitious – I guess one girl’s burnt is another woman’s crispy and caramelized!

    J-Bird – Sadly, they don’t keep very well and are best eaten immediately. If you wanted to keep them longer, I would suggest starting the zucchini off in a food dehydrator and then when they’re leathery toss them in the oil and bake at a higher heat to brown them.

    Madge – Absolutely!!! I looooove breaded zucchini spears. One of my favorite pub foods! When I make them at home I bake them though, because….because I’m afraid of deep frying. I had access to a deep fryer once, for a week, and by the end of the week it was, “HEY GUYS! LOOK! DEEP FRIED MEATBALLS AND OLIVES FOR DINNER!!” A dangerous rabbit hole for a porker like me.

  • http://food.lizsteinberg.com Liz

    Ha! I love your poetry! And I wish I had a real garden.

  • http://www.chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    Great way to use up zucchini! I could have used this the other day when I simply sauteed some zucchini in canola oil – it came out too mushy.

  • http://foodhappens.blogspot.com lo

    I saw this post the other day, but I didn’t have time to comment. I’m thinking these might compete with zucchini “fries” at our house… with the added bonus that we can use up all those miscellaneous salts at the same time. I’ve got a green tea peppercorn seasoning that might be good on these too…

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook eat FRET)

    i do the exact same thing with whole okra…

    great idea

  • Pam Weeks

    How interesting! I baked 3 loaves of zucchini bread today for a charity bake sale
    and I have one zucchini left over. Thank you for sharing your idea and instructions!
    I believe I’ll try these this weekend and throw away the stale cheese puffs in my cupboard!

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