Air Fried Summer Squash
My summer harvest has come in! I had three squash from my plant that didn't get eaten by bunnies, deer, or squash beetles. Or Mr. T, my resident turtle, who, in my view, deserves considerable protection (okay, I had to stop the car and move him out of the road at one point, but he's a little slow and wouldn't have dealt well with a big garbage truck). To enjoy my fresh squash, I decided on a simple air fry with a little seasoning and some panko bread crumbs. The squash took only minutes to cook in the air fryer and came out quite tasty, albeit differently from a deep-fried version. In my view, that's not a bad thing. I don't want my fresh squash, or anything else for that matter, dripping with hot grease. Because squash have a lot of water in them, even the convection cooking process of the air fryer won't be able to make them super crispy. They will be nicely crunchy on the outside, thanks to the panko. I enjoyed my squash strips "as is," but you could certainly dip them in a sauce--ranch, honey mustard, or barbecue, for example--if you like.
Air Fried Summer Squash -- Serves 2-3
3 medium summer squash, washed well and cut into strips about 1/2-inch thick
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/3 cup of seasoned panko bread crumbs
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees for several minutes. While the fryer is heating, in a large plastic bag, combine the squash strips, oil, lemon pepper, salt, and smoked paprika. Seal and shake the bag until the squash is well coated with the seasoning. Add the panko to the bag and seal and shake the bag again to coat the squash with the crumbs. When the fryer has heated, dump the squash strips into the fryer basket and put the basket back into the fryer for about 7 minutes. Remove the basket, and shake it to redistribute the squash strips. Put the basket back in the fryer for another 7-10 minutes or until the coating on the squash strips has browned and the squash strips are crisp tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Some of the panko will drop down through the bottom of the basket into the main pan when you do your shaking. Be sure to sprinkle the crumbs that fall through the basket into the main pan on top of the squash before you serve the squash. Yum, yum, yum. And it's squash, not potatoes!