This roasted zucchini has crispy edges - no frying required!
Do you have a vegetable garden? Growing vegetables like zucchini in a home garden isn’t always easy. I fail every year.
Each spring, I get very ambitious and plant various vegetables and herbs in hopes of a bountiful summer harvest. Some things do well (rosemary, sage, oregano, and lavender), but others do not. Rest in peace, bell peppers, tomatoes, and jalapenos.
I wonder sometimes if the old World War II victory gardens were so named because the gardener was ecstatic that the plants survived.
During World Wars I and II, the U.S. National War Garden Commission encouraged the public to start home gardens to help offset consumer demand from food suppliers. Commercially grown crops were needed to help feed the service men and women who were fighting overseas.
Sometimes called war gardens or liberty gardens, these victory gardens were in backyards, public parks, and on apartment building rooftops. At one point, these gardens collectively yielded 40 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed nationally!
That’s a lot of zucchini.
How to make Roasted Zucchini
Because it has high water content, zucchini can become squishy and watery when cooked. There are ways to help eliminate some of the moisture, such as salting, squeezing, and slicing very thinly.
Another solution: tornadoes.
This genius way of roasting zucchini involves slicing it diagonally in a continuous swirl. When done right, the result looks like a giant, green, veggie rotini. Or a tornado.
Because it has more cut surface areas exposed to heat, the zucchini offloads excess moisture while cooking. They are delicious plain, but are extra good with a crunchy topping made from panko, herbs, and spices.
- Most zucchini are not perfectly straight, so it can be hard to push a skewer through the middle of the entire thing without it veering off to one side. Cutting the zucchini into shorter lengths helps to keep the skewers centered down the middle.
- By all means add cheese to the crumb mix if you like. I have previously added finely grated Parmesan and it was delish.
- This same skewer/cutting technique can be done with potatoes and other vegetables.
- 3 zucchini
- olive oil
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried Italian herb blend
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 F/218 C.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set it aside.
- Trim the ends from each zucchini. Push a skewer down the middle of the zucchini lengthwise until the tip of it comes out the other end.
- Using a paring knife, cut the zucchini on a diagonal starting at one end while slowly rotating the vegetable. This is easiest to do while the zucchini is on a flat surface and your other hand is rolling the zucchini away from you while you cut. The skewer will stop the knife from cutting all the way through.
- Spread out the tornado twirls. It should be one continuous piece with a skewer down the center holding it together. Drizzle with oil.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko, garlic powder, onion powder, herb blend, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the zucchini to coat.
- Roast at 425 F for 30 minutes, turning over once.