Salty snacks are my weakness, especially crunchy ones. Or cheesy ones. Kettle chips, especially salt and vinegar ones, are my favorite. Or a lovely slice of cheese. But neither of those are exactly healthy, and I need to start replacing my afternoon snack with something a little more waistline-friendly. The classic apple-with-peanut-butter and a hint of Maldon works pretty well. These baked zucchini crisps are perfect because they get their saltiness from the naturally low-fat (as far as cheese goes, at least) Parmesan cheese while satisfying my need for something crispy.
The only problem with them is that you do need to plan a bit ahead of time. They can take between one to two hours to cook, because you’re basically dehydrating them. So if you’re in a pinch, these aren’t the snack for you, unfortunately. Since they take so long to cook, however, I recommend making a big batch and saving them in an airtight container for a few days.
I love different variations on the baked zucchini crisp, too. I’ve used flavored olive oil, such as basil or garlic. I’ve replaced the Parmesan with a flavored sea salt, like applewood smoked salt or herbed salt. And you can also sprinkled spices over them during the last 15 minutes of cooking to give them extra kick, like paprika, curry powder or your favorite chile powder.
One year ago: no-bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bites. They’re a huge hit at summer parties, you can honestly never make enough!
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Use the convection setting if you have one. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
- Use a mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini into rounds (I used the 2 mm setting on my little Japanese mandoline).
- Place the zucchini in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Brush each round with some olive oil. Top each round with a pinch of cheese and a crack of pepper.
- Bake for another 45 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through to ensure even cooking. They should be crisp and light brown. If not, continue to bake 10 minutes at a time until done. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. Serve when cool.
- Store in an airtight container and eat within a few days. Although they probably won't last beyond the first day...
- I omitted salt from this recipe because the cheese gives them a salty punch. But if you don't use the cheese, you'll want to sprinkle a bit of salt over them when you put them back in the oven the second time.