Our favorite way to eat summer squash is thinly sliced and fried till some pieces are brown and crispy, and some are still a little soft with browned edges. Served on top of a baguette with some cheese, this makes a great appetizer or snack. —drbabs
8 pieces (scales up easily)
1/2-3/4 inch slices of baguette
1 clove garlic, smashed
3 ounces cream cheese (ricotta and goat cheese work also)
generous pinch kosher salt
generous pinch fresh ground black pepper
2-3 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of minced fresh herbs of your choice--basil, parsley, chives, oregano, mint
2-3 small zucchini (about 4-5 ounces)
vegetable oil for frying (canola, peanut, grape seed, etc.)
Heat oven to 400. Brush both sides of baguette slices with olive oil, and rub each side with garlic. Bake, turning once, till lightly golden on edges, about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool. (You can do this ahead of time. When cooled, wrap and hold at room temperature.) If you're serving this immediately, reduce oven temperature to 225.
Mix cream cheese with salt, pepper and herbs. Add lemon juice a little at a time till it has the taste that you want, and is spreadable but not too thin. (You can make this ahead, too. Refrigerate it, and let it come to room temperature before assembling crostini.)
Heat a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Cover an oven proof plate with paper towels. Using a mandoline, slice the zucchini paper thin. Pour oil into the frying pan so that the bottom is covered. Fry zucchini slices in one layer, in batches, turning occasionally so that the slices are browned and crisp but not burned. Some slices will not brown completely, and that's OK. Scoop the slices onto the paper towel lined plate, Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and turn the oven off. Place the plate into the warm oven while you fry the second batch. (Add more oil if needed.)
To assemble, spread cream cheese mixture onto baguette slices, then layer the zucchini slices on top of the cream cheese mixture. Microplane a little lemon zest over each baguette and serve immediately (or you will have mushy zucchini crostini, but they will still taste good).