Zucchini is a healthy and delicious addition to many dishes, especially during the high harvest season. It's very simple to cut and cook the vegetable, and you can add a healthier touch and a pleasant flavor to the meal.
Method 1 of 4: Slicing
Step 1. Wash zucchini to remove dirt
Before you start slicing the vegetable, rinse it in cold water and gently clean it with your hands to remove excess dirt.
Step 2. Cut the stalk and the other end with a sharp knife
Cut about 1 cm from each end of the zucchini with a sharp knife and discard these pieces.
Step 3. Slice small cylinders to desired thickness
Starting at either end, hold the other end with one hand and cut the vegetable. Keep your fingers curled down instead of straight on the zucchini to avoid accidents.
- The thicker the slices get, the longer it will take to cook them. Chunks are great in broths that take longer to cook, but you can make the slices thinner if you're simply sautéing the vegetable.
- To make sharper cuts. Use an up and down motion with the knife handle, leaving the tip down.
Step 4. Cut zucchini in half before slicing to make a quick dish
To make half-circle slices, cut the vegetable in half after cutting the ends. Turn half horizontally and cut with knife.
Half-slices are great if you want to create chunks that are medium or quicker to cook
Method 2 of 4: Dicing
Step 1. Wash the zucchini before cutting it
Wash the vegetable in cold water to remove dirt and lightly dry it with a paper towel. Take a look again to see if you haven't left any dirt behind.
Step 2. Cut off the stalk and the other end
With a sharp knife, cut 1 cm from each end of the vegetable. The tips don't taste good or look good, so they can be eliminated in any dish you prepare.
Step 3. Carefully cut the zucchini into three or four vertical strips
Using the same long, sharp knife, cut the length of the vegetable into strips. Hold it with one hand as you cut, keeping your fingers curled to protect them from the knife.
Step 4. Cut each strip into three thinner strips
Lay each strip flat on the cutting board and use the same cutting technique for each strip, forming long, thin slices.
When cutting the strips that were on the edge of the zucchini, place the smooth side down and the rounded side up for easier cutting
Step 5. Turn the vegetable over and cut crosswise to make cubes
Hold three to four strips together with one hand, curling your fingers into the surface. Turn the strips over so you can cut them across. Place the cubes to the side with the flat part of the knife and continue until you cut the whole zucchini.
Depending on the length of the knife, you may be able to cut four to six strips at once. The more strips you cut together, the less time it will take
Method 3 of 4: Cutting in Juliana
Step 1. Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends
Put the vegetable in cold water and dry it with a paper towel. Use a knife to cut the stalk and 1 cm from each end.
Step 2. Cut the length of the vegetable into half-centimeter-thick boards
Slice the zucchini with the knife, slightly bending the fingers of the dominant hand to protect them from the knife. You'll have three or four strips when you're done.
Step 3. Place a flat slice on the cutting board and cut the top at an angle
Turn the knife at a 45-degree angle in the upper left corner of the vegetable slice and cut carefully. The cut piece will be shaped like a triangle.
You can throw that first piece away – it's just made to prepare the julienne cuts
Step 4. Continue cutting at the same angle, making toothpicks with the vegetable
Hold the knife in the same position, keeping the blade parallel to the line of the first cut but half an inch apart. Create very thin slices that look like french fries and repeat with the rest.
The julienne cut is great if you want to add a chic yet simple touch to a salad or side dish
Method 4 of 4: Grating
Step 1. Wash the zucchini and cut off both ends
Wash the vegetable in cold water, running your hands over the skin to remove any dirt. Gently pat dry with a paper towel and place on a chopping board. Remove both ends with a knife.
Step 2. Cut the zucchini into four pieces and remove the seeds
First, cut the vegetable in half horizontally, then cut to length on the two halves. Use a spoon to remove the seeds.
- The seeds and water in the middle of the vegetable will be difficult to grate, so it's best to remove them first.
- This is even more important if the zucchini weigh a pound or more, as the center of larger vegetables tends to be a little bitter.
Step 3. Grate one quarter at a time in the larger holes of the grater
Hold the grater with one hand, slanting the side with larger holes upward for easy access. Place the vegetable firmly on that side and move it up and down until finished.
If you have a food processor, you can use the grater blade to cut the zucchini
Step 4. Place the grated vegetable in a colander
When you have finished grating each quarter of the zucchini, place the final product in a colander inside a bowl to drain excess water from the vegetable.
If you want to keep the juice that comes out, place the colander inside a large bowl. You can use the juice as a quick, healthy addition to soups or to cook rice
Step 5. Add a teaspoon (5 g) of salt and let it rest
Mix the salt with a spoon to spread well. Let the zucchini drain slowly for 15 to 20 minutes, then squeeze the remaining moisture out with your hands.
- Use one teaspoon (5g) of salt for every half a kilo of zucchini.
- Salt will help extract the water faster.
Step 6. Place the grated zucchini on a plate covered with a paper towel
Spread the shredded vegetable evenly so that the paper towels absorb more moisture. Removing the last residue will prevent the zucchini from getting soft while still keeping it very fresh.
- If your zucchini weighs more than a pound, remove the seeds first, no matter what kind of cut you're going to make. The seeds in these larger vegetables tend to be more bitter and can spoil the flavor of the dish.
- Sliced, diced or julienned zucchini is great for sauteing and adding to a vegetable accompaniment. Grated vegetables are delicious in a salted quiche or marinara sauce as a pasta substitute.