I really like zucchini — such a versatile vegetable! It’s great solo, in stews, stir-fried, whatever! But this recipe uses a technique I’d never tried before, roasting. And it was lovely, like a zucchini custard inside, with lightly crisp edges on the outside.
You’ll need 4 zucchini, olive oil, kosher salt, and (optional) herbs. This recipe will take about 30-35 minutes in all, from trimming the zucchini to serving. Let’s go!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, Fahrenheit. While the oven heats, wash the zucchini.
Trim the stems, then slice each zucchini evenly down the middle.
Now, with a sharp knife, score each zucchini across the cut edge in a diagonal pattern to create little diamond shapes across the surface.
You don’t need to slice too deeply — just a light slice with the tip of the knife.
Now, dust the surface with kosher salt (or table salt).
While you wait, the salt will be removing the excess water from the zucchini. You can see how it’s beading up here.
In a large sauté pan, heat vegetable oil (canola, preferably, because it has a higher smoke point). When the oil starts to shimmer, place the zucchini inside, cut side down.
Sauté until the cut edge begins to caramelize, about 4-5 minutes. This looks pretty good!
If your sauté pan can go in the oven, place the pan on a lower oven rack. My sauté pan can’t, so I ended up heating a large baking pan in the oven, then pulling it out and placing the zucchini inside. If you like, sprinkle the cut edge with herbal seasoning. I sprinkled Spice House’s wonderful Ratatouille seasoning on top, since zucchini is one of the main ingredients of ratatouille.
Roast for 25 minutes, then remove from heat. And here’s the final product, a little browner than I’d anticipated but still perfectly cooked! The insides were truly like a custard consistency, but the edges had just the right amount of light crispness, so the texture contrast was fabulous.
I served this with pan-seared salmon fillets, also dusted with that wonderful Ratatouille seasoning, then drizzled with a whole-grain mustard-cream sauce. It was lovely!
We paired it with a great Virginia Chardonnay from Veritas Winery, their Saddleback Chardonnay, very creamy on the palate but with a mellow citrus uplift (and no oak). It was so good together!