I certainly can’t imagine a world without my beloved french fries. They’re possibly the most perfect little pieces of food ever created. Like any regular child, I grew up adoring their golden, salty crispiness. As an adult, it’s the safe comfort food that I know I can order at any hotel around the world and not be disappointed. Obviously, the health benefits are pretty much nonexistent. I guess you could say it’s a vegetable and you’re dunking it into another vegetable (or rather sugared up tomatoes). But hey, I’m not here to knock the french fry. I’m just here to give it a healthier make-over.
My first non-potato french fry experience was in Atlanta where I ordered eggplant fries. They were crispy, spicy, salty and overall awesome. That experience has lingered in my mind, and I finally played around with this concept in my kitchen. I used eggplant and zucchini as my test dummies, and the results—zucchini reigned king! I tried dunking them in the classic ketchup (I even made my own), and it just wasn’t special enough.
Cue lemon mayo to the rescue!
I grew up with a major dislike for mayonnaise (the fact that we had Miracle Whip probably didn’t help), and it wasn’t until a british girlfriend instructed me to dunk a fry in mayo that I saw the light. I reluctantly followed her advice, followed by a full on belly flop into the bowl. Fries and mayo are meant to be together. Zucchini fries and lemon veganiase—a match made in heaven. Basically, whatever you do—make this sauce! No ketchup allowed here. Trust me and devour every last bite!
Baked Zucchini Fries with Lemon Mayo
2 zucchinis, skin left on
1 cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs
2 t seasoned salt
1 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
1 T plain yogurt (coconut or dairy)
1 t Maldon sea salt
Cooking spray (I use coconut oil)
1 cup Vegeniase (I use the soy-free)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 t Maldon sea salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil.
Slice your zucchinis in half the long way. Cut these two pieces in half on their waistline. Slice each 1/4 remaining into fries—roughly 3 even slices and trim the excess.
Grab 3 medium sized prep bowls. Fill one with your gluten free flour, the next with your breadcrumbs, cumin, seasoned salt, garlic and cayenne, and the final bowl with your whisked eggs and yogurt. Lightly coat a handful of zucchini strips in your flour, followed by a quick bath in your egg mixture. Dredge your fries in the breadcrumb mixture until evenly coated. Line your cooking sheet with your full set of fries (these guys can bake close together, no biggie) and give them a final mist of coconut oil spray and a dusting of Maldon sea salt. Bake for roughly 10-15 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Whisk your Vegeniase (or mayo), lemon juice, lemon zest, and sea salt together in a dipping bowl. Dunk away!
Food Styling + Photography: Cynthia Groseclose
Prop Styling: Kenneth Hyatt + Justin Schram