Crispy Zucchini Fries with Basil Parmesan Dipping Sauce

Serves 6.

Note: Looking for something that tastes decadent but isn’t? These panko-coated zucchini strips, baked to golden perfection and paired with a creamy, cheesy herbed dipping sauce should fit the bill. Panko are bigger and lighter than the traditional breadcrumb, which could be substituted. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1/3 c. low-fat buttermilk

• 3 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise

• 3 tbsp. low-fat sour cream

• 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

• 2 tbsp. chopped basil

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1/2 c. flour

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 2 eggs, beaten

• 1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 tsp. paprika

• 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, then cut into 3- by 1/2-in. strips


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic. Set aside.

Stir together flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow bowl, then stir together the breadcrumbs, olive oil and paprika in a third shallow bowl. Working in batches, dredge zucchini in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat.

Place zucchini onto the wire rack atop the baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

Place on a serving platter and garnish with a sprinkling of Parmesan. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 140 Fat 8 g Sodium 280 mg

Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 85 mg

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 46 mg Dietary fiber 2

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ bread/starch, 1½ fat.