For Sweeter Zucchini Flavors, Break The Salting Status Quo

Every June through August, supermarket shelves and farmers' market stands alike are filled with zucchini of every shape, size, and color, all boasting the sweet and fresh flavors cognizant of the summertime season. During this time especially, zucchinis are prepared simply in order to let their natural flavors shine. Usually, a hot grill will do the trick; However, to really bring those sweet summer flavors forward, holding off on the salt is key.

This may sound obvious, but let's be clear: This tip isn't meant for you to hold off on the salt completely. Instead, you should wait to salt your zucchini until after it's been put on the grill. Why is that? The simple answer is science. As you may remember from science class, salt draws out moisture, spurring a process known as osmosis, which can seriously impact the flavor of summer's go-to squash.  

Hold the salt

When you add salt to your vegetables before you cook them, a process known as osmosis occurs. While this process does have benefits for other vegetables, it doesn't play in your zucchini's favor and actually tarnishes its sweet flavor. So, this summer, get ahead of it and save the salt for your zucchini for last. Rather than salting them immediately, which causes them to go into an involuntary sauté, glaze them with a touch of oil and place them directly on your hot grill. Once they're nice and charred, you can take them off the grill and give them a healthy sprinkle of cracked salt while they're still hot.

In the end, your zucchini should come out boasting those sweet summer flavors and firm texture. They'll make the perfect addition to your summer BBQ plates, whether they're served on the side of your pulled pork sandwich, hot dogs, or burgers.