*Small to medium zucchini work well because they don’t have the somewhat spongy, seedy core typical of really big zucchini. That said, any size zucchini may be used. (I’ve tested – those spongy centers work; the finished texture is different but still quite good.) Just don’t start with more than 1½ pounds total, as you’ll have trouble fitting all the spears on one baking rack and may need another egg.
**If you have unseasoned panko, simply season to taste with salt, pepper and dried Italian herbs.
***I’ve tested with whole eggs and the equivalent amount (½ cup) of egg whites and both work well.
Make ahead tip: Once the zucchini spears are coated and lined up on the sprayed rack, you may refrigerate them, uncovered, for several hours. When ready to bake, allow them to sit at room temperature while the oven is preheating.
Helpful hint: I don’t recommend salting the zucchini before dredging in the flour, as this draws out moisture and can make the coating soggy. The only salt I use is what is already in the seasoned panko (or what you add if using unseasoned panko). For saltier “fries,” simply sprinkle with salt to taste when finished baking.