crispy top zucchini parmesan

I love a slice of crispy bread with a meal but, as I tend to overdue it, I went on a quest to find something healthier, preferably 'veggie like', to satisfy my crunchiness desire. Zucchini slices with Parmesan was my solution. I'm calling it Crispy Top Zucchini Parmesan because only the crust is crispy. The rest of the zucchini is actually soft. 

Crispy Top Zucchini Parmesan can be a side dish or a snack, and it's becoming an almost obsession of mine. It's just so simple and delicious. And did I mention it's healthy? As I said before, the crust is crispy but the zucchini itself is soft. One of the reasons the top is crispy is because I use Panko bread crumbs instead of the regular type. It makes a big difference. I use the seasoned Panko to make my life simpler, but you can also use the plain kind and season with your favorite spices. There is a suggestion for seasoning below. 

Nowadays you can find Panko breadcrumbs in the major markets (at least here in Portland). They are also called Japanese style breadcrumbs. Trader Joe's has plain Panko at a very good price. You can also find Panko at Asian stores.

And so you know, this is another ridiculously easy recipe.

what you need:

  • 1 lb  zucchini - 2 to 5 depending on size
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs 
  • olive oil to brush the zucchinis OR cooking spray
  • foil or parchment paper

When using plain Panko breadcrumbs you have to add some seasoning. This is just my suggestion:
  • 1/3 plain Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • and any other seasoning you like :)
Make sure you use good quality non-stick parchment otherwise the paper might burn or release a terrible wax smell.

what to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Wash the zucchinis under running water and dry them with paper towel or a clean dish towel.

Cut each zucchini in 3 horizontal slices.

Put the slices in a baking sheet covered with foil or wax paper. The baking dish must be big enough to hold the zucchinis in a single layer.  

Mix the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a bowl. 

Brush the top side of the zucchinis with olive oil.

Spread the Parmesan mix on them. 
Be generous. Use the whole mix.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil the zucchinis until they are golden brown and crispy on top.
Serve immediately.  

Bon Appétit! 

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