Sweat the Detail Here
Roasted zucchini or summer squash is fairly easy if you sweat one detail. Zucchini and summer squash have a lot of moisture, and unless some of it is removed your results will be soggy. To remove the moisture cut the squash lengthwise (best) and salt. Then allow the zucchini to sit for at least 30 minutes. The salt will draw much of the moisture from the squash (sweating) and it can then be wiped off.
The bit of spice in this preparation offsets well the sweet Mango Curd presented in my Barramundi Fillets with Mango.
Notes on Techniques
You can use an unlined baking sheet for this, but I prefer a heavy pan that is pre-heated allowing for a good sear. If you have an oven grill like the Le Creuset one shown, it works well producing an attractive grilled look. Otherwise, a cast-iron pan works.
Oil and Bottom Down
The sweating will allow for a good roast, but it can produce a dry outcome. A light application of olive oil before roasting is needed. Light is fine, but work to make sure all of the squash is covered. A brush helps, if available.
The sweating will reduce sogginess, but the exposed cut flesh of the squash will still not sear well at first. Because of that, start the roasting with the skin side (bottom) of the squash down on the pan. Roast for about 10 minutes, then the flesh will be cooked enough to allow flipping and browning the flesh.
Notes on Ingredients
Zucchini or Squash
This technique works for any type of zucchini or summer Squash. However, the size is somewhat important — a medium size squash is best. I have found that Zephyr Squash, photographed here, works very well.
Any type of dried pepper will work. But I have found paprika to be the perfect combination of flavor and color. It can be applied before cooking to cook through, or applied right after cooking giving a brighter appearance.
- 2 Medium Zucchini or Yellow Squash
- Olive Oil
- Paprika (Prefer Spanish, any will do)
- Trim the ends of the zucchini/squash. Quarter lengthwise and trim to the size needed.
- Salt the quarters well and leave them to sit for at least 30 minutes to "sweat" the moisture from the squash.
- While the squash is sweating, preheat the oven to 425°F. During the last of the pre-heating place a thick cast iron or similar pan in the oven to get completely hot.
- Dry well squash removing as much moisture as possible.
- Re-salt the squash, sprinkle with paprika, and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place the squash on the hot pan skin side down and roast for 10 minutes.
- Turn the squash placing it one cut side down and roast for 5 more minutes. Then turn the other cut side down and roast for 5 more minutes.
- Remove and serve immediately or at room temperature.