Zucchini: Veggie Gem Unearthed

Drawing Out Her Flavor Charms

Zucchini has a better nature than as a dependable side. With a few tweaks elevate and heighten that wonderful “zeeni” flavor

Served with Air Fryer Crispy Thighs, British Bakers

The usual bane of zucchini is the lack of brown, crispy edges and ergo—flavor. She gives up her liquid in the skillet resulting in a watered down, too-soft texture.

I’m sharing a great secret to release her power.

INGREDIENTS: Figure half a small zucchini per diner; make more—it’s a great planned over

  • zucchini – 2, 1/2 inch cubes [or 1/2 inch planks, or batons]
  • salt – 1 tsp
  • olive oil – 2 TBS, [or I love butter, chicken fat, or lard]
  • zatar spice blend – 2 tsp [or other spice blend]
  • baking soda – 1/4 tsp
  • pepper – 1/4 tsp

INSTRUCTIONS: I find 1/2-inch thick is a good size to get browning and still have al denté texture

  1. Dice zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes, [I use my thumbnail as my ruler]
  2. Toss with salt and place in colander for 30 + minutes
  3. Don’t rinse the zucchini, place on toweling and toss well to dry
  4. Add the fat to a large skillet and sprinkle in the baking soda [I have a “salt shaker” of baking soda that does the trick]. Sauté with medium high heat
  5. Toss in the zucchini along with your spice blend and stir each piece into the contents
  6. Settle the cubes into a single layer and then do nothing, not even shake the pan, and sauté for a good 3 minutes, don’t even look at them before tossing
  7. Toss and cook another 3 minutes, then serve


Slice the zucchini into 1/2-inch thick planks, or 1/2 inch thick batons [smaller planks] and repeat the steps above. I love to slice shallow hatch marks in the planks to make an elegant presentation. For grilling, toss the planks with the fat, herbs, and baking soda before placing on the grill

Did you know that by creating hatch marks you help watery veggies steam and wick away their moisture? Here is a large tract on dry frying.

Baking Soda Enhances Grill Marks
Zucchini Batons Browned with a Touch of Baking Soda
Learn How Dry Frying Creates Meatier Texture with Eggplant, Portobellos, and Zucchini

Zucchini with Fennel, Onion, Mushrooms, and ponzu sauce—a soy sauce and citrus seasoning that Blooms the Flavors

Recipes by B. Hettig

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