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2012-11-01_09-06-22_123-300x168

The Bloomin’ Zucchini & Sweet Onion Dip

 

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the blooming onion from Outback.  I know it’s not nutritional or healthy, but it’s delicious.  So when I found this recipe, I was in heaven!  It’s a perfect appetizer for any event.  Yes, it’s a bit of work, but so worth it!  And much healthier than the onion version, cause it’s baked not fried!

Zucchini Ingredients:

3 medium-size zucchini, about 9″ to 10″ long.

2 Beaten Eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute

1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs/Seasoning

Onion Dip Ingredients:

1 Tbl Butter

1 Medium Sweet Onion

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 Cup Mayo (not lowfat!)

Directions:

Cut each zucchini into 3″ sticks about the diameter of your finger. Cutting each zuke into 9 sticks lengthwise, then cutting into 3″ lengths, works well.

Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let them drain for 1 hour or longer.

While the zucchini are shedding their excess liquid, make the dip.

First, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized frying pan over moderate heat, and add 1 medium sweet onion (about 1/2 pound), sliced.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, then caramelizes. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes, at medium-low heat. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.

When the onions are medium brown, remove them from the heat.

Place the following in a small food processor or blender:

all of the caramelized onions
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Process until fairly smooth. Remove from the processor, and stir in 1 cup mayonnaise.

The resulting 1 1/2 cups dip can be used not only for these zucchini sticks, but as a tasty sandwich condiment.

Note that I’ve purposely not added any salt to the dip. I find that the zucchini sticks themselves, with the salt you added to drain them and the addition of seasoning, are plenty salty. If you plan on using this dip for another purpose, you might want to add 1/4 teaspoon salt.

OK, back to the zucchini. See how they’ve started giving up liquid?

Rinse them thoroughly; you want to get rid of any excess salt. Then pat them dry.

Next up: the bread and cheese coating. But first, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.

Combine the following:

1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs/Seasoning

Mix until thoroughly combined.

Beat 2 large eggs; or pour 1/2 cup egg substitute into a dish. You’re going to dip each zucchini stick in the egg……then roll it in the crumbs. These will look a lot nicer if you take the time to dip-and-roll one by one. Maybe you could divvy up the egg and crumbs, and get one of the kids to help you… Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the sticks for about 12 minutes, until they’re starting to brown. Remove from the oven, and turn them over; you may actually need to do this one by one, or you may be able to turn several at a time using a spatula. Bake for an additional 12 to 16 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp.  Serve w/the onion dip!  Happy Eating Friends! ~Trina

 

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