A Better Way to Slice Zucchini

Have you ever noticed how cutting the same vegetable in different ways has a significant effect on the flavor and overall eating experience?

I’ve written about grated carrots in this regard, and have recently adopted a new way of slicing zucchini that I wanted to share with you.

It all started with a plate of fish I had at Le Bal Café, one of my favorite lunch spots in Paris. This delicious dish came with thickish slices of zucchini, cut at a steep angle and roasted. I was instantly taken with this shape, which I thought was quite attractive, and very successful in terms of texture.

I played around with the idea in my own kitchen, and ended up with a slightly different technique, in which you work your way down the zucchini from side to side, as shown on this animated image:

How to Slice Zucchini

The slices are just as steeply angled, but have one skinless edge to them. Not only does it look lovely in the plate, but it makes for a great textural balance in every bite, from the firm, skin-side rim to the soft flesh in the middle.

It works particularly well if you’re going to roast the zucchini — my cooking method of choice these days, with a healthy glug of olive oil and a good coating of garam masala –, and it is quite fun to do, too, especially if your knife is well-sharpened.

So if you’re stuck in a rut with your same old zucchini half-moons, I hope you give it a try!

Join the conversation!

Do you share my interest in knife technique, and how different cutting styles produce different results? Do you have a favorite vegetable-slicing trick to share?

How to Slice Zucchini

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  • i’ve seen this cut before (can’t remember where though, agh!), but never understood the appeal. thanks for clearing it up! and the infographic seems really clear and helpful (:

  • Gwendolyn

    How exciting! What a visually beautiful cut, and animated image. I will do this today since I have tons. Is the zucchini left round, or is it cut in half lengthwise? I can’t seem to perceive it from the photo. My kids tease me about how often I talk of “knife skills”. They even made a family home-movie mockumentary about my attempts to teach them :). Your lesson on a new way to cut zucchini is right down my alley.

    Carrots. This is my favorite vegetable-slicing trick to share. I almost always cut them with something you are surely familiar with: an oblique roll-cut . . . i.e. every cut is made on the diagonal (oblique), then I roll the carrot one-quarter turn and cut again, always obliquely. Cut, roll, cut, roll, repeat. I find it’s helpful to use long, slender carrots, avoiding the ones that get really fat on their way to the top.

    This oblique roll-cut creates a wedge shape, cooks a bit faster, but most of all I think it looks beautiful and rustic. Then I boil them in a big pot of salted water (the saltiness of sea-water), drain, toss with ghee and a sprinkle of tarragon. The salty water trick comes from a book I’m pretty certain you recommended on your blog a while back: An Everlasting Meal, by Tamar Adler. I have learned so much from you Clotilde. Thanks.

    • Gwendolyn

      Update: cut, roasted and consumed . . . DELICIOUS. Thanks for the idea.

    • The zucchini is left whole, not halved, though halved would be interesting too!

      I love the idea of your roll-cut and have never seen it done, so I’ll try it for sure. Thanks!

  • Gabriel @ The Dinner Special

    Zucchini half-moons step aside! I’m doing this the next time zucchini’s on the menu! Such a simple way to change things up and make cooking and eating fun again!

  • Caroline Schurman-Grenier

    LOVE THIS!
    Gotta get my roommates to eat some more veggies so I guess I’ll just try cutting it differently.

    http://www.mademoiselleaventure.com

    • Thanks Caroline! And it keeps the cook excited, too. :)

      • Caroline Schurman-Grenier

        trueeee

  • ep

    I do that cut (mostly on carrots for stew type things) but rotate between cuts about 90 degrees. Makes fun shaped chunks that I find much more attractive than just chopping it up.

  • JimmyO

    After seeing some irregular cucumber slices in a Middle Eastern salad, I started occasionally doing something similar, but as below, rotating the cucumber 60 to 90 degrees between slices.

    • I’ll try it with cukes, too. Oh, the possibilities! What else do you put in your Middle Eastern salad?

  • Pat Tanumihardja

    I like to make carrot “flowers.” I use a lemon zester to make a long groove down the length of a carrot and then cut crosswise. Looks so pretty! Here they are in my pickle recipe: http://smithsonianapa.org/picklesandtea/many-grandmas-asian-pickles/

    I get confused when rotating 90 degrees between slices. Your method seems much easier. I’ll try it!

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