It’s Time to Upgrade the Way You Cut Zucchini

published Aug 9, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

It’s that time of year when we’re swimming in zucchini, and no matter what we make, it feels like we just can’t use it up fast enough. When it comes to prepping this summer veggie, I tend to default to coins, half-moons, and perhaps zucchini spears. But there is a better way to cut zucchini, and it’s a total game-changer.

Why You Should Be Roll Cutting Your Zucchini

Forget slicing zucchini into round coins and half-moons, and skip the spears and batons — roll cutting is the better way to prep zucchini!

What exactly is roll cutting? Also called an oblique cut, this method has you slice zucchini on an angle, rather than straight up and down. The benefit is that the roll cut leaves each piece of the vegetable with a larger surface area (meaning the edges can crisp without it getting soggy). And there’s no need to stop with zucchini — this technique works with all types of oblong vegetables, including carrots, parsnips, and Japanese eggplant.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How to Roll Cut Zucchini

This method is actually quite simple; once you give it a try, I’m certain you’ll have it down in no time. Make a diagonal cut (your knife should be on a 45-degree angle) about 1 1/2 inches from one end. Roll the squash a half turn and make another diagonal cut (in the same direction as the first cut) about 1 1/2 inches from the cut end of the squash. Repeat with the rolling and cutting until you reach the end of the squash.

When You Should Use the Roll Cut Method

The biggest benefit to roll cutting is the extra-wide surface area (not to mention that it also looks pretty impressive). This wider surface area makes a big difference anytime you’re grilling, roasting, coating zucchini with a glaze, or simply adding it to a crudité platter.

When it comes to grilling, thin spears and smaller rounds are prone to falling through the grates, and because of their rounded, wobbly shape, slicing the zucchini into long, thin strips is tricky. The larger pieces also allow it to pick up plenty of smoky char from the grill (or crispy edges when roasting in the oven) without the flesh softening too much. And anytime a sauce or glaze is involved, remember: More surface area always equals more sauce.

Practice Your Roll Cutting Skills with These Popular Zucchini Recipes