That’s not the finished Zucchini. But that was right before it went into the oven. It was perfect. Then it wasn’t.
I really labored about posting this, as it’s embarrassing, but I figured, what the hell. We’re going for honesty here, and sometimes, that means showing the ugly mistakes as well.
How did I mess up, you may ask?
It was all going PERFECTLY.
Then I trusted the recipe time without checking on the bottom oven, as I was busy cleaning and scrubbing the TOP oven, and I got distracted. Timer went off, and the zucchini was el carbonne.
It looks nasty, but it actually was edible. The flesh was soft and creamy, it was just the top that turned out like an overcooked marshmallow. But having enjoyed many overcooked marshmallows as a child, I didn’t really mind it, all things considered.
The recipe called for 25-30 minutes. I should have taken it out after about 15-20 as the zucchini were pretty well done from the pan already, as some were rather small. I also tried to get zucchini that were mostly the same size, but one was quite a bit larger than the other two.
I am usually 100% on point when I’m cooking, and extremely focused on what I’m cooking, and checking it frequently, especially on unknown recipes. But not yesterday. I was extremely disappointed about the outcome.
On the other hand I turned this:
In my defense, it’s not my oven. It’s my house-mates, and apparently nothing has been cooked in the upper double oven for YEARS after they somehow set it on fire. I cleaned it, tested it, and it’s now back to being almost brand new and 100% operational again. It took almost all day, but now we have TWO ovens to cook in.
So follow the recipe below, just watch that sucker like a hawk once you put it into the oven.
Check it for doneness after 15 minutes. You should be able to slide a paring knife into the flesh of the zucchini with no resistance. If it’s still not done, check it again after 5 minutes but watch that oven and do not let it burn.
My zucchini el carbonne was still fairly tasty, and I did eat it all, but was definitely NOT presentable and looked like a dog’s dinner.
Surprisingly enough, even burned it was tastier than most zucchini I’ve had at restaurants and WAY better than the crap in a can.
Oven Roasted Zucchini (or Zucchini el Carbonne if you mess up.)
(From Chef Thomas Keller’s MasterClass)
3 fresh zucchini. (Try to get all the same size)
Vierge sauce (Tomato concasse, pinch of minced parsley, 5g diced shallots, 15g champagne vinegar, 35g extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt to taste.)
6-8 oz canola oil
Maldon finshing salt
12 inch oven-safe frying pan
Paper towel lined plate
Warm the oven to 450
Heat your pan and oil over high heat until the oil is shimmering.
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Try to be as exact as possible. Score the flesh crosshatch, as in the picture below.
Evenly salt the zucchini with the kosher salt, lightly dusting it from above and letting the salt rain down on the vegetable. Leave sit for 15 minutes or more.
Pat the zucchini dry.
Sear the zucchini in the pan for about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat and lower if necessary to allow the zucchini to sear without burning.
Once the zucchini look like the below picture…
Put them in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. Longer if your zucchini are larger, but keep an eye on them or they absolutely will burn. If you see any of the edges start to burn, pull them out of the oven immediately.
Pull out the zucchini from the oven, arrange on plates or serving platter, spoon over vierge sauce, and finish by sprinkling Maldon over it.