Surely I’m not the only one that has experienced the conundrum of “too much zucchini”. In fact, I can imagine several of you reading this are looking at your gardens right now, wondering what you will possibly do with ALL OF THIS ZUCCHINI. Two loaves of zucchini bread every week couldn’t begin to make a dent in your bounty. So you’re bringing zucchini to your friends, dropping it off at your neighbors, and now, you’re scouring the internet for
salvation recipes that aren’t the “same ol’” zucchini recipes, because your family will revolt if they eat it again tonight.
While I seem to not be able to grow zucchini without the squash bugs knowing where I live, my friends certainly can, and I’ve been given a considerable amount of zucchini as well. I already made this zucchini ribbon salad with some, but I still had more on my hands. I wanted something different, and started researching, as many of you have been doing. I came across a dish called Koosa ma Laban – a spread popular in the Middle East and North Africa made from squash, yogurt, tahini, and lemon. Often it also includes mint or parsley. I love the combination of these flavors, and I also happen to have mint growing in abundance in my flower beds, so I opted to make a variation on this dish.
I wanted to make it a really light, refreshing dip, so I opted not to use tahini, instead using a bit of cream cheese to thicken. The result was a cool, creamy dip that was at home with vegetables or bagel chips (gluten-free if you prefer). It was a hit at an Independence Day party, and it would be a perfect appetizer or an excellent alternative to the tired ranch dressing so often served with raw crudités. It can certainly be made in advance, so whip up a batch and bring it along to your next summer party.
Zucchini, Mint, and Lemon Yogurt Dip (gluten-free)
1 T olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise and cut into half-inch slices (about 2 cups once sliced)
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed slightly with side of knife
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
2 oz plain cream cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
2 T fresh mint, chopped
1/4 t ground cumin
1/8 t ground paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add olive oil. Swirl to coat and add zucchini and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots and tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place zucchini and garlic, yogurt, cream cheese, most of the lemon zest, most of the mint, cumin, and paprika in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until pureed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Spoon dip into a wide bowl and drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired, and sprinkle with reserved mint and lemon zest.
Serve with vegetables or bagel chips. Serves 4-6.
Looking for more zucchini recipes? Here are some other ideas: