Thomas Keller’s Squash and Zucchini
This recipe is something I came across when a friend gifted me Masterclass-which I highly recommend! Thomas Keller, renowned chef, spoke about his favorite method for preparing squash and zucchini - so I figured I should try it. It is super simple, and I typically do not even make the sauce described at the end, we just eat it without the sauce. It is yummy enough for a holiday side (especially for a small crowd) or for a weekday dinner.
2 pieces zucchini or summer squash
1 tablespoon neutral, high temperature oil such as sunflower, grapeseed or avocado
Halve the zucchini lengthwise and score the the cut side in a crosshatch pattern so that salt can penetrate it.
Rain salt onto the scored side of the zucchini from a height so that it is evenly distributed. Leave the zucchini for 10 to 15 minutes to draw out moisture.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat the zucchini dry with paper towels.
Pour just enough oil to coat the bottom of a fry pan and heat until it's shimmering but not quite smoking. Add the zucchini, cut side down, in the oil and adjust the heat to allow the zucchini to sear and caramelize without burning.
Cook about 5 minutes, checking occasionally, until it is darkly browned but not burned. Place in oven to cook 20-30 minutes or until zucchini are completely soft.
Transfer zucchini to a platter with paper towels to absorb any residual oil. Move to a serving platter and finish with sauce or serve as-is.
Additional Step (optional)
It is recommended to serve the veggies with a sauce as below:
1 tablespoon champagne or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely diced, very ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced shallot (one small)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mince fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, etc.
Gently combine the tomatoes, vinegar, shallots, olive oil, herbs and salt to taste in a small bowl and allow to marinate to bring the flavors together. Transfer zucchini to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over before serving.