Veggies to Eat Before You Die: Sauteed Zucchini Done Right

Right now I should be packing for theNOWFE this weekend but we had another awesome veggie last night that I had to share before I disappear for a long weekend. We get the great magazine called Cook's Illustrated from Collin's Mom and it rocks. It reminds me a lot of Good Eats on FoodTV. It covers the in's and out's of all things cooking related, its highly informative and most of the pictures are hand drawn, hence the name Cook's Illustrated.

Anyways, every time I read Cook's Illustrated I learn something new. Like why my zucchini turns out to be a soggy flavorless mess when I sauté it. Evidently zucchini is 95% water. On a grill, the water drains off, leaving you with highly condensed zucchini flavor. In a pan the water does not cook off and the zucchini turns into a flavorless soupy mess.

Cook's Illustrated says that this can be avoided, so I had to give it a try.

First thing you have to do is get as much of this water out of the zucchini (already tired of typing that word) as possible. To do this you either need to grate it by hand, or, if your in-laws rule and got you a brand-new bad-ass Cuisinart for your graduation from graduate school, you can use that to grate the zucchini in about 3 seconds. (If the zucchini is large and has large seeds, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds before you grate it.)

Then you take that zucchini, you put it in a colander and you sprinkle salt on it. About 1.5 teaspoons for 10 cups of zucchini. Let it sit about ten minutes and then ring out the zucchini in batches in a kitchen towel. You would not believe the amount of water that comes out of that stuff. Now you are ready for the recipe.

Sautéed Zucchini with Garlic and Lemon
  • 10 cups drained zucchini
  • couple of garlic cloves minced
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

    1. Toss the zucchini with the garlic and about 2 teaspoons of oil

    2. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. when it starts to smoke, add the zucchini in a thin layer on the bottom of the pan with tongs. After the bottom layer has browned (about two minutes) stir the zucchini with tongs and allow the new bottom layer to brown (about 2 minutes).

    3. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

    This zucchini was so flavorful. Still kind of mushy (I didn't use a high enough heat, or have the zucchini spread thin enough I think) but the flavor of the zucchini was rich and the browned bits were caramel-ly. I definitely see what I am supposed to be aiming for and I am definitely going to try it again. I give it three thumbs up. Way up.



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