Pancetta and Sesame-Crusted Baby Zucchini

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

This recipe is best with tender baby zucchini, although it will also work with small to medium ones. If preparing the dish with larger zucchini, you may need to use more pancetta slices and sesame seeds and to increase the baking time.


  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 16 very thin pancetta slices
  • 16 baby zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, plus more as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Unravel a pancetta slice and wrap it around a zucchini, covering most of the zucchini. Repeat with the remaining pancetta and zucchini.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Put the 1 cup sesame seeds in another bowl. Dip each pancetta-wrapped zucchini into the beaten eggs to coat, letting the excess drip off. Then roll the zucchini in the sesame seeds, turning to coat generously on all sides and adding more sesame seeds to the bowl as needed.

Working in batches, add the zucchini to the hot oil and fry until the sesame seeds are golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

Arrange the zucchini on a clean baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake until the zucchini are just beginning to soften, 7 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe Courtesy of Dan Barber, Blue Hill.

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