Fried zucchini with roasted garlic aïoli
Our guests are always amazed when we tell them the recipe for our fried zucchini dip the sticks in milk, coat with flour, and fry away. The milk helps the flour cling, but doesn’t make the batter gloppy like so many recipes that have eggs in them. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again . . .sometimes easy is good! The roasted garlic aïoli ups the ante a bit, but they are just as delicious with a squeeze of lemon.
Portions: Makes 4 servings
- 1 head
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 zucchini, trimmed, cut into 3-by-¹⁄2-inch sticks
- ¹⁄2 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¹⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¹⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To make the aïoli, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the hull into a small bowl. Mash the garlic cloves with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and vinegar and whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper. (The aïoli can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.). Transfer the aïoli to 4 individual ramekins or custard cups. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Have a second baking sheet ready. Pour enough oil to come 2 inches up the side of a large, heavy saucepan. Heat over high heat to 350°F on a deep frying thermometer. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl. Pour the milk into a second bowl. In batches, dip the zuchini in milk, shake off the excess milk, then coat with flour. Shake off the excess flour and add to the oil. Cook over high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a wire spider or slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to the paper towels to drain briefly. Move the zucchini to the second baking sheet and place in the oven. Let the oil return to 350°F between batches. Heap the zucchini on a platter and serve hot, with the aïoli for dipping.