Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable. Whether you’re roasting it, stuffing it, or zoodling it, zucchini is always a hit at the dinner table. Furthermore, it is one of those veggies that is accessible year-round (but nothing beats a fresh summer zucchini).
TikTok recently presented us with a cooking process that producers claim yields the most “decadent” zucchini of all time. We’ve never heard zucchini described as decadent before, so we knew we had to try it.
The technique is adapted from a roasted zucchini dish on MasterClass by Thomas Keller, a James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurant. When you hear rich, roasted zucchini, you may expect a long, laborious procedure, but Thomas Keller’s zucchini is unbelievably simple – almost too simple.
What Exactly Is Thomas Keller Zucchini?
Keller’s zucchini demands a brief saute in canola oil for five minutes, followed by a 25-minute bake in a preheated oven. The pan-fry caramelizes the zucchini, while the oven softens it until it’s delightfully tender. Because the caramelized taste is obtained, the recipe just calls for three ingredients: zucchini, canola oil, and salt.
Keller’s approach is also distinguished by the way he chops the zucchini. It’s cut in half lengthwise, scored, then seasoned with salt so the zucchini absorbs the salty taste while releasing excess moisture that may turn your veggie to mush in the oven. Scoring also allows all of the flavors to permeate the zucchini while it cooks.
It’s important to note that this recipe isn’t simply for zucchini. It works with Goldbar yellow squash and other summer squash species, according to Keller.
While it may take longer to roast, you may probably apply this procedure with winter squash as well, such as acorn or delicata. Or even nightshades such as eggplants and potatoes.
- 3 green and/or Goldbar zucchini
- 6-8 oz. canola oil*
- Sauce Vierge
- Kosher salt is kosher salt.
- Finished salt
Chef Keller recommends canola oil for this technique since roasting requires a high flash point and a neutral flavor.
- chopping board
- The chef’s knife
- 12″ frying pan
- Plate lined with paper towels
How to Make Thomas Keller Zucchini?
Begin by cutting the zucchini ends off and then cutting each one in half lengthwise. Score the open face of each zucchini half with a sharp knife and liberally sprinkle with salt to help absorb moisture. Place each half face down on a prepared paper towel to drain for at least 30 minutes.
While the zucchini is draining, finely cut a shallot and place it in a bowl. Combine salt and half a lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Add a single tomato, skinned and diced, to the bowl. Mix everything together and set aside for a few minutes to steep.
If required, drain off any excess liquid before adding a little amount of olive oil and thoroughly blending. Finally, add a tiny bunch of chives to the mixture. Preheat your oven to 450°F before proceeding to the fun part.
Heat the canola oil in a skillet over high heat, then add the zucchini cut side down. Cook the zucchini for about 3 minutes, listening to the actual sizzling noises, and then flip before removing it from the fire. When ready, place in the oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes. Garnish with your prepared relish mixture and serve!
The Results of Our Taste Tests
First and foremost, this zucchini is really simple to make and didn’t take long at all – my squash didn’t even require the entire 25 minutes in the oven. It’s a wonderful and easy way to jazz up your standard zucchini side dish.
It’s decadent in the sense that it tastes like something you’d receive in an expensive restaurant, in my opinion. Despite this, it’s really simple to create at home with no effort.
My only criticism is that the squash could use some more flavor. Yes, the pre-cook imparted a semi-caramelized flavor, but it might need more aromatics. I’d add garlic and fresh herbs to both my zucchini and oil the next time.
This zucchini might also benefit from the TikTok Parmesan-crusted potatoes approach, which involves adding Parmesan and herbs to a skillet and laying the potatoes score-side down in the cheese to create a crispy, cheesy coating. Zucchini and cheese go together.
Because it’s a touch fatty, Thomas Keller’s zucchini isn’t a side dish I’d cook on a regular basis, but it’s a great treat to improve your dinner with little work and in almost no time.
Is it necessary to salt zucchini before cooking?
By steaming in its own water content, zucchini can virtually disintegrate throughout the cooking process (which isn't always a good thing). With our Sauteed Zucchini with Olives and Lemon side dish, salt it first to bring out the full flavor of the herbs.
What makes zucchini unique?
Zucchini is high in manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C, all of which help to good eyesight and may reduce your risk of age-related eye disorders.
When is the best time to grow zucchini?
When it came to preparing this zucchini side dish, we kept it basic, using garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and freshly grated Parmesan. We like this basic, traditional taste combination, but you may season your zucchini however you choose!