Fried zucchini is a great summer option for your bounty of garden vegetables. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

If you pick your zucchinis when they are still small to medium sized, you can stay a little ahead of the supply. If they get really big, don’t waste them by leaving them on the back seat of someone’s unlocked car — make zucchini bread or cake, or a sweet relish to enjoy all year.

This is a great option for those medium-sized zucchinis, say 8 inches long, that when sliced, produce a 3- to 4-inch-wide disk. Dipped in flour, then beaten egg, then crumbs, and fried in a quarter-inch of vegetable oil, the exterior is crunchy and the interior firm but tender. One zuke makes enough for a side dish for two people.

Some of you might like to eat them just plain like that. Or you could eat them with ketchup, a creamy salad dressing, or aioli sauce made with mayonnaise, garlic, and a little mustard. For the sauce made according to the recipe below, I think that you could dip fried chicken or shrimp or an egg or spring roll in it but if you are messing with fried zucchini, you are better off dribbling it on the zuke instead of dipping.

Bottom line: to avoid dripping, dribble instead of dip.

Fried zucchini

1 medium zucchini, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds

½ cup flour

1 large egg, beaten

½ cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs, more if needed

Salt and pepper, to taste

Put enough vegetable oil, about a quarter of an inch deep, into a wide heavy pan for frying the zucchini and heat it until it shimmers.

Coat the zucchini in flour, then dip it into the beaten egg, then into the crumbs and then put it into the frying pan.

Fry at a fairly high temperature until the zucchini rounds are golden, then turn them over to fry until golden on the other side.

Drain on paper towels and keep them warm in an oven until ready to serve.

Asian dipping sauce

¼ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1½ tablespoons soy or tamari sauce

1 large clove garlic, chopped finely

A pinch of red pepper flakes, or more to taste

2 teaspoons cornstarch stirred into a little cold water to make a paste

Mix together all the ingredients except the cornstarch and water and heat together in a small pan.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, and add the cornstarch and water.

Cook until the sauce thickens, then remove from the heat.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...