Suffice to say, the crust is basically a giant zucchini fritter, but getting the bottom to crisp well without burning took buying a silipat type baking mat. Yes, I caved, but it was worth it (just don't make your crust too thick!) Utter deliciousness (carb and gluten free!) awaits you.
In the meantime, enjoy these parmesan crumbed baked zucchini fries as a consolation prize. With this as the consolation prize, imagine what the winning prize was!
The basil aioli is genius (and actually is just basil mayonnaise, not aioli. But Closet Cooking called it aioli and it sounds so much fancier so I kept it as well!)
Baked Zucchini Fries with Basil Aioli (inspired by Closet Cooking)
2 lbs zucchini
1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal (polenta)
1/2 cup hard cheese, finely grated (asiago, parmesan, pecorino)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
20 leaves fresh basil
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or veganaise)
Preheat oven to 400. Slice zucchini into 1/2 inch planks, and then cut them into 1/2 inch wide julienne and place on paper towels or a cloth towel with a towel covering them and cutting board or heavy cookbook on top to soak up some of the moisture for at least 30 minutes.
Mix together cornmeal, cheese and pepper and place in a wide soup bowl. Place beaten eggs in another shallow dish and flour on a small plate. Unwrap zucchini fries and beginning breading procedure; pat zucchini into flour and shake off excess with your left hand, then dip into egg, allowing excess to slide off, and then place in the bowl with cornmeal breading and using your left hand scoop cornmeal on top to coat. Place coated fry on a baking sheet and repeat until all zucchini is breaded (or you run out of breading.) Bake for 20-30 minutes until the fries are crisp and hot on the inside.
Meanwhile, puree basil with mayonnaise in a blender and set aside in the refrigerator to chill. Serve with hot fries!