baked zucchini chips and garden tomato salsa

by ALLISSA on July 26, 2011

Baked Zucchini Chips and Garden Tomato Salsa

Perhaps you’ve noticed. We’re having a bit of a warm spell in the Northeast. Not that I’m complaining. Of course, as expected, everyone else is. But not me. I’ve been waiting for this therapeutic heat since Christmas and I’m certain that my loving tolerance of this weather means I belong somewhere on a Caribbean island, sipping margaritas, feet plunged into the sand, in my next life.

Apparently, it’s good growing weather, if you forget about the fact that the seemingly endless rain we experienced in recent months has ceased, save but for two quick downpours in the past week. We are diligent about watering, so all of the produce we planted in May has survived and, I might add, thrived. Which leads to tomato overload.

But it wasn’t the tomatoes that got me. It was the baseball bat-like zucchinis that appeared last week in the office kitchen. I should have taken photos. Those suckers were huge. I wondered, how many meals could I make with just one of them and what could I cook? I went looking for something different, something healthy. And I found the perfect appetizer in baked zucchini chips.

Garden Tomatoes Still on the Vine

Garden Tomatoes on the Planter

No, I did not bring home the enormous zucchinis from the workplace. I had to find something smaller to dice (and I’m not sure zucchini slices the size of a dinner plate would fit so well in the oven). Then I thought, I need something tasty in which to dip said baked zucchini chips. I didn’t have to look hard. One corner of my backyard flashes orange and red and green, little circles of summer goodness growing in the sunshine. I stuck to a basic tomato salsa recipe, avoiding jalapenos and other spiciness. The focus, instead, was on fresh in-season ingredients combined into a sweet dipping sauce.

Zucchini

Sliced Summer Squash

Garden Tomatoes Red Onion Coriander Lime

Breaded Zucchini Slices

Baked Zucchini Chips

Garden Tomato Salsa

I will warn you: these chips are addictive. I ate them all (at least 90 percent of them) before noon the next day. The only reason I feel OK about that? They’re baked. Healthier than fried, no? That’s what I thought.

Baked Zucchini Chips

(adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Dip each zucchini slice first in milk, then in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Place each coated slice on the baking sheet, single file, not stacked.
  5. Bake for five minutes or so, then remove from oven and flip each slice once.
  6. Bake again for five to 10 minutes or until the slices begin to brown and the edges are firm.
  7. Serve warm for the best taste, but don’t hesitate to reach for these late at night (or first thing in the morning! They’re healthy!) after they’ve been refrigerated.

 

Garden Tomato Salsa

(personal recipe)

Ingredients:

  • Lots of fresh, diced tomatoes (I used six, but some of my tomatoes from the garden were tiny. I’d say three medium-sized tomatoes would suffice.)
  • One half of a red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced and diced cilantro leaves
  • One half of a lime
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. It’s simple. Combine all ingredients, including the juice from half a lime.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.

 

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