Batter-fried Zucchini Spears with Basil

Batter-fried Zucchini Spears with Basil

These are excellent!! They are not greasy and heavy at all, but sooooo tasty! They are a bit labor intensive, but totally worth it. The parmesan aioli sauce below makes an excellent dip for these zucchini spears.
I have also made some without the basil- they were good too, and served those with a spicy tomato aioli.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup beer
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
12 fresh basil leaves
about 3 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
grated parmesan (I use the kind in a round shaker for pasta)

For parmesan aioli:
1 large garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a bowl whisk together flour, beer, and salt.

Halve zucchini crosswise. Cut each half into 6 spears and put, skin side down, on a cutting board. With a sharp thin knife cut a lengthwise slit about 1/2 inch deep along top edge of each spear. Halve basil leaves lengthwise and, using dull side of a small knife, push a half leaf into slit of each spear.

In an 8-inch heavy saucepan or deep skillet heat 1 inch oil over moderate heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 375° F.
Working in batches of 6, coat spears in batter, letting excess drip off, and fry until deep golden, about 2 minutes, transferring with tongs to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle immediately with grated parmesan.
Can be kept warm briefly in the oven on low.

Serves 2 generously as an hors d’oeuvre or a side dish.

This recipe is from the Epicurious website. Gourmet, August 1997 (but I changed it a bit, and changed the dip they recommended to the parm. aioli).


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