The Secret(s) to Quick and Amazing Zucchini

roasted zucchiniBring on the heat! A little oil and a quick char from the grill or hot oven caramelizes the zucchini and enhances its otherwise bland-ish (sorry, zucchini) flavor.  Maybe you already knew that part? (Especially if you’ve tried oven-roasted broccoli.) So the other secret, then, is . . . 

in how you cut it: Slicing the zucchini into ½” thick planks gives you more surface area to expose to the heat, which equals more surface area of caramelized deliciousness. If you don’t believe me, just ask my kids and veggie-phobic husband. Even when we’ve had it up to our necks in summer zucchini, the char-grilled or oven-roasted versions always get gobbled up.

Up to your neck in zucchini?

Up to your neck in zucchini?

Farmers' Market Zucchini Bounty

Farmers’ Market Zucchini Bounty

My final secret for grilling zucchini planks is to do so on a large sheet of aluminum foil. No “stickage”, no slip-through, no clean-up! If you don’t have a grill, or don’t feel like grilling, or had to leave your beautiful built-in Lynx grill behind in NJ, you can get a similar result by roasting in a hot oven. For both methods, just be sure to use enough olive oil to fully coat all sides of the zucchini planks.

Planked Zucchini                                           Click Here to Print Directions

  • Zucchini (count on 1 medium per person)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Cut off the stem ends of the zucchini and slice into ½” planks. For very small/thin zucchini, just cut in half.

zucchini planks

On the Grill:

Heat to medium-high. Place large sheet of foil directly on the grill grate. Pile the zucchini planks onto the foil, then drizzle with olive oil; toss with your hands to coat. Arrange in a single layer, season with a good pinch of kosher salt, and then cover grill. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until charred on the bottom. Use tongs or a spatula to gently flip the zucchini planks. Cook until other side has some color and zucchini is tender. (Cook less if you prefer more “snap”; we like it soft and charred.)

Planked and Charred Zucchini on the grill

Foil is great for grilling veggies. Heat and char marks still come through, but the delicate veggies won’t stick to the grate.

In the Oven:

Heat to 425F. Pile the zucchini planks onto a baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil; toss with your hands to coat. Arrange in a single layer, season with a good pinch of kosher salt, and then place in the bottom third of hot oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, until sizzling and browned on the bottom. Use tongs or a spatula to gently flip the zucchini planks. Cook until other side has some color and zucchini is tender. (Cook less if you prefer more “snap”; we like it soft and charred.)

Zucchini planks roasted in a hot oven.

Zucchini planks roasted in a hot oven. I think I stuck these under the broiler for a final 1-minute blast of heat.

PS – Growing your own zucchini this summer? Be sure to watch for signs of the dreaded Squash Vine Borer. See this post for more info.

3 thoughts on “The Secret(s) to Quick and Amazing Zucchini

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