See the zucchini in that picture? The whole one? That is the single lone zucchini we got out of our garden this year. At one point, I despaired of getting any zucchini at all, but it looks like our two surviving zucchini plants decided to go for broke in mid-September and they put out several fruit. There are still other promising looking mini zucchini on one plant, but it’s far too late in the season and I don’t think they are going to grow much more. I am not really sure what to do with baby zucchini, as I love the baby version of many other vegetables, I am sure they taste delicious. Sauteed baby zucchini, anyone?
I do know what to do with whole, adult zucchini, though. I have about a hundred easy go-to recipes for zucchini, and a hundred more ideas in my head. It’s a wonderfully versatile vegetable, and it doesn’t have a strong flavour on its own, so it will take on the flavours of whatever you choose to cook it with. I get at least 3 or 4 zucchini every time I go to the farmer’s market, because it’s so easy to toss in to whatever I am making for dinner. My kids don’t like it yet, but I am sure they will in time.
I made Eggplant Chips last year and several readers asked if they could substitute zucchini. I didn’t think zucchini would work very well in that particular recipe because of its higher water content. But the idea stayed with me and I kept wondering about Zucchini Chips and whether it was possible to get them to dry out and crisp up. And then that magical world of Pinterest showed me it was indeed possible, when I saw these beautiful chips from Vittles and Bits. They looked too good, too crisp, too chip-like, to be real. But I figured it was worth a shot. Anything to support my snacking habit!
I did make a few small changes to the recipe. For one thing, I salted the zucchini and let it drain for an hour before baking. I figured that would help crisp things up. I also did not use cooking spray, but oiled the parchment and then oiled the zucchini rounds once they were on the pan. I did not add any additional salt after that, as I know it tends to absorb quite a bit when salted beforehand. I sprinkled on a little pepper, and then some smoked paprika I was dying to try. It also turned out that I had to leave the house prior to the end of the baking time, so I simply turned off the oven. And when I came home, I had some delicious zucchini chips with smoked paprika to snack on!
Zucchini Chips with Smoked Paprika
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- Slice zucchini crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife.
- Place zucchini in layers into a colander or sieve, sprinkling with a little salt with each layer. Let drain one hour.
- Preheat oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush parchment with 1 tsp of oil.
- Pat zucchini slices dry with a paper towel and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining oil and sprinkle with paprika and ground pepper.
- Bake 45 minutes, then turn off oven and let chips remain inside until crispy, about 1 hour.