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Salt Watery Vegetables Before Cooking

Make Eggplant, Cukes, and Summer Squash Tastier With 1 Simple Step

Many vegetables, like zucchini, cucumber, Summer squash, and eggplant, have a high water content, so to avoid dishes from turning into a diluted, soggy mess, treat the vegetables by salting and draining them first.

The key is to slice or grate the vegetable, sprinkle the cut surfaces with a liberal amount of kosher salt (but don't go overboard!), then wait patiently for 15 minutes for the salt to draw out the water via osmosis. Then, depending on the amount of water brought forth, either pat it dry with a towel or drain away the liquid using a colander.

This process, known as disgorging vegetables, works well for any dish where an excess of liquid would be an issue, such as cucumber salad, eggplant parmesan, a veggie-packed quiche, or any other pastry dish that could turn soggy if vegetables are too moist after cooking. It also helps reduce the bitterness that's sometimes present in older eggplants.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
amber512 amber512 5 years
I wish I understood how this works. If you rinse them, doesn't that just make them wet again?
Lizzie-Fuhr Lizzie-Fuhr 5 years
I did this last night before I made some eggplant parm. What a difference!
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 5 years
Yes - definitely RINSE and pat dry.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Ahhhhh. Mom taught me this technique when I was just a wee fuzzle. A must for all those yummy cucumber salads. :feedme:
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I do that with eggplant and cucumbers. Just be sure to rinse them and pat them dry before you use them in your recipe or they'll be too salty.
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