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Swap out the greasy fries for these crispy zucchini matchsticks

Bring them in fresh from the garden, bake them 'till they're crispy and these zucchini sticks become a healthy swap for high-fat fries

I’ve always admired people who have a green thumb. The ability to cultivate a piece of land to produce fresh fruits and vegetables, or even just pretty flowers, is not a skill I was blessed with. My black thumb has killed far too many plants, including the cacti my mom bought for me promising it would be extremely difficult for me to mess up taking care of it. Well, I’m pretty sure that poor little guy was dead after two weeks.

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In the summer, I bask in everyone else’s ability to grow their own produce. Nothing is sweeter than a freshly picked strawberry still warm from the sun or as juicy as a perfectly ripe cherry tomato off the vine. I’m salivating just thinking about it. One of the main vegetables in many west coast gardens, from the ones I’ve frequented, is summer squash. Zucchini to be exact. Leave them too long and they become monstrosities with very diluted flavour. However, if picked while still a reasonable size, they require very little seasoning to taste fabulous. Throwing them on the grill is a simple and delicious way to incorporate them into a meal. Another way, is to make zucchini sticks. These could probably be made on the BBQ, but I baked them in the oven first.

With just a sampling of herbs, and the salty creaminess of the Parmesan cheese, these little sticks are a perfect side or appetizer for any meal.


Baked parmesan zucchini

4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
Ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for two or three minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
4. Serve immediately.