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Oct 19, 2008 05:54 PM

How to get water out of zucchini for scalloped zucch?

I made scalloped zucchini tonight - julienned zucchini with shredded gruyere cheese and cream. It tasted out of this world good, but I had to drain it because it had too much liquid (it was all smooth though, not separated). Maybe I added too much cream, but I think a big part of the problem was the water seeping out of the zucchini as it cooked. Is there anything I can do to get the water out of the zucchini before I put the dish together to cook?

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  1. Yes, toss the strips with some salt, maybe 1/2 teaspoon per medium zucchini. and let drain in a colander for about 1/2 hour, pressing on it and stirring gently a couple of times. If you're worried about it being too salty, it seems to me that the salt kind of drains away with the water. If you want it really dry, roll it up in a clean dish towel a gently press it. You could even rinse it first and then dry with the towel to really remove the salt. That dish sounds delicious, I'm going to try it!

    1. Oddly enough, sometimes par boiling zucchini then removing it, draining it well in colander and drying it wrapped in a towel will help reduce the water content. It's also possible to "par bake" zucchini, although I don't allow it to get much past half done before removing it from the sheet pan, allowing it to drain in colander and toweling it. That said, using the technique described by jacquelyncoffey usually works quite well all by itself.
      You don't specify the type of cream you used in the recipe and, because types of cream differ quite widely in the amount of water they contain, that could have been part of the problem. Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream (pretty much the same thing) contain much less water than table cream. Another trick you can try is to heat the cream over low heat for a period of time you feel to be adequate to evaporate some of its water content before adding it to the recipe. When the end result still leaves more liquid that you had hoped for, just repeat what you did this time and drain it off.

      1. I'm not a big fan of the salting method for squash or eggplant (too hard to remove all the salt without damaging the veg.- I prefer the baking or pan searing method to get them to sweat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

          Why do you need to remove all of the salt? Just use enough salt to season each slice and that's enough to pull out the moisture.

        2. you can bake the sliced zucchini on realllly low heat for an hour or two. It's the poor man's dehydration machine.

          1. Thank you all so much! I will try these and see what works for me.

            7 Replies
            1. re: starbucksbrew

              Just reviving this thread. I'm making a pasta-free lasagna and I'm trying to figure out the best way to draw out the water. I'm thinking about baking it or frying it 1st. I'm not keen on the salting method.

              1. re: kwass

                I would cut the zucchini in long strips and then bake for a good while at 300 or so, check at 30-40 min, too high and they will get crispy.

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  If I were to bake it, would I drizzle oil over it 1st?

                  1. re: kwass

                    You don't have to. That could make it soggy even. You may want to bake on parchment or grease you pan well as sticking can be an issue.

                    1. re: melpy

                      Thanks melpy. That's what I'll do.

                2. re: kwass

                  Do you have a waffle maker? Lightly oil it or use cooking spray, if it is not non-stick, and run 1/4" thick slices of zucchini through it. You'll get out the water and it adds some nice browning for flavor.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    That's brilliant! But, no, unfortunately I don't have a waffle maker.