I knew that I had to make this as a special appetizer after seeing it on Chef Mimi’s blog. It sounded so interesting- a baba ghanoush without eggplant or tahini, but with zucchini, yogurt, and Roquefort cheese. The charred zucchini resembled bananas when they were peeled; cooking it this way gave it smokiness.
It may not be absolutely beautiful, but it was absolutely delicious. Ottolenghi describes its appearance as “rather like a volcanic eruption.” 🙂 It was a little bit time-consuming to prepare, but was worth every bit of time and effort.
This recipe was adapted from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. I used French whole milk plain yogurt instead of goat’s milk yogurt and used regular chile flakes instead of Urfa chile flakes. I also crumbled the cheese rather than grating it. I definitely plan to make it again- we loved it. Incredible.
Yield: Serves 6 as a starter or as part of a mezze selection
- 5 large zucchini (about 2.75 pounds/1.2 kg)
- 1/3 cup (80 g) plain whole milk yogurt
- 2 T (15 g) coarsely crumbled Roquefort cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 T (15 g) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 T (20 g) pine nuts
- pinch of chile flakes
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
- 1/2 tsp za’atar, to finish
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- warm naan, for serving
- Preheat the broiler.
- Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice during the cooking, until the skin crisps and browns nicely.
- Remove from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, peel off the zucchini skin, discard it, and set the flesh aside in a colander to drain. The zucchini can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Put the yogurt in a small saucepan with the Roquefort and egg. Heat very gently for about 3 minutes, stirring often. You want the yogurt to heat through but not quite reach the simmering point. Set aside and keep warm.
- Melt the butter in a small sauté pan with the pine nuts over low heat and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the nuts turn golden brown. Stir in the chile flakes and lemon juice and set aside.
- Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the garlic, a scant 1/2 tsp coarse salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Gently mash everything together with a fork and then spread the mixture out on a large serving platter.
- Spoon the warm yogurt sauce on top, followed by a drizzle of the warm chile butter and the pine nuts.
- Finish with a sprinkle of za’atar and serve at once with warm naan.
One Year Ago: Vegetarian Harira
Two Years Ago: Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices
Three Years Ago: Orecchiette with Carrot-Hazelnut Pesto
Four Years Ago: Saffron Pappardelle with Moroccan Spiced Shallot-Butter Sauce and Clams Casino
Five Years Ago: Israeli Couscous with Spinach & Onions
I love Ottolenghi and this dip looks fabulous. I made a zucchini baba ghanoush last summer and it was not labor intensive. The recipe was a Canadian one. It had both yogurt and a bit of tahini. Here’s the link in case you’re interested. https://frenchgardenerdishes.com/2017/08/08/middle-eastern-zucchini-dip/
Looking back, I’m not sure if this dip is really that labor intensive! I was making my Easter Challah and a couple of other things at the same time… I will check your post out ASAP though- thanks! 🙂
I remember seeing this on Mimi’s blog and took note of it! Fantastic!
It really was fantastic. Try it ASAP! 😉
Gorgeous! I mentally logged it from Mimis post too 🙂
You would LOVE it for sure, Elaine!
I think so too!
Well, it’s more labor intensive than throwing ingredients into a blender, like traditional baba ghanoush! There’s a process with all of the layers. But I’m so glad you tried it! There are so many tempting recipes, and only so much time! And thanks for the shout out!
SO happy you inspired me to try it! 🙂
Well done you for making this dish – it sounds absolutely spectacular! I love Ottolenghi’s food but have never tried to make any of it because of the exhaustive lists of ingredients…
This was truly worth all of the work- not for every day but definitely for a special occasion. BTW- I’m upset that your beautiful posts don’t appear in my reader. 😦 I’ve tried to unsubscribe and resubscribe to fix it but it didn’t work. I love your blog! Thanks for stopping by!