Cooking Tip Thursdays: Osmosis In The Kitchen

Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better…

Salt has many magical kitchen powers – the most common being the enhancement of flavor to food and the extraction of moisture from food.  The process in which salt extracts moisture from food, specifically vegetables, is called disgorging.  And thank goodness for it as there are a handful of vegetables that can become a watery mess if not salted and drained prior to cooking.  The biggest culprits: eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers. Because these vegetables have such high water content, it’s best to pull out as much moisture before preparing them as you can.   This works best for quiches or pastries that could turn soggy if vegetables are too moist after cooking; stuffed, roasted or battered eggplant, and dishes where cucumber is the star (especially salad, tzatziki, and raita).  This process can also help to reduce any bitter flavor the vegetable may have.  The key is to slice the vegetable, sprinkle with coarse cooking salt and leave for 20 minutes to 1 hour so that juices will drain away as the salt draws them out by osmosis. Yes, it really is osmosis.  I find it easiest to use a colander for this. Then rinse (optional) and pat the vegetables dry with a paper towel.  You’ll never have a watery cucumber salad or ratatouille again.  And who doesn’t love a little ratatouille, the movie that is…..

DK

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2 thoughts on “Cooking Tip Thursdays: Osmosis In The Kitchen

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