Slow-roast zucchini until they’re soft and scrumptious, mash with traditional baba ganoush seasonings and what do you have? One tasty dish! Perfect as a healthy app, and so good alongside grilled fish steaks or chicken!
For the final dish of my 3-part series on dips featuring the best of summer veggies, I give you this addictive, yet totally healthy, roasted zucchini baba ganoush.
Full disclosure, zucchini is NOT one of my family’s favorite vegetables. My youngest even stages small protests when he hears zucchini will be on the dinner menu. But, since it is such a versatile and reliable summer produce, we have it a LOT.
So… I gotta find interesting ways to cook it up.
Undeniably, the fam’s favorite zucchini application is in breakfast breads, muffins and cakes. Runner up until now has been my grilled pizza, which I shared with you all last month. BUT this stunner is now firmly in fighting position to show.
Why? Something magical happens when you slow roast zucchini. It changes from a firm yet slightly watery texture, to luscious and almost creamy. It takes little more than a quick chop and a large fork to mash it down to the right consistency (no food processor required!), and blend it into the tastiest spin on baba ganoush you’ll have all summer.
While not a traditional baba ganoush, the same simple seasonings, like tahini, garlic, lemon and cumin, work beautifully with summer squash, creating a mouthwatering dip that also works as a vegetable side dish for your favorite grilled protein.
Are there tips or tricks for this dish?
- Use my favorite trick to take the sharpness off of raw garlic. Mix the grated garlic with the lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. The acid from the lemon will “cook” the garlic slightly, taking away that strong flavor.
- This recipe is naturally vegan, and can be gluten free as well by serving it with GF crackers instead of pita.
- You can make this ahead and refrigerate up to a day ahead. Let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes before serving to take the chill off.
Summer Squash Baba Ganoush
- 1 ½ pounds zucchini about 3 medium
- 2 tablespoons tahini well-stirred
- 1 garlic clove finely grated
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh mint, toasted pine nuts and paprika for garnish
- Pita bread, crusty bread or pita chips for serving
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then make small cuts in the flesh, being careful not to cut all the way through. If the squash is large, you can make a crosshatch pattern, otherwise parallel lines evenly spaced. Use half of the olive oil, about 1 ½ teaspoons, to brush or drizzle the zucchini, then sprinkle each piece with a pinch of salt and place on a parchment lined (or oiled) baking pan. Bake in your preheated oven for 40 minutes, turning once, until completely softened. Remove and let cool slightly.
- While the zucchini is roasting, stir together the tahini, garlic, lemon, cumin and salt in a small bowl.
- Remove the zucchini from the oven and when it is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a cutting board. Chop it up using a large chef's knife until it is a chunky, rough mash and place it in a serving bowl. Pour the tahini mixture into the bowl and mix with a large fork until well combined, mashing it further if there are any large chunks remaining. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt or lemon if needed.
- To serve, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with fresh mint, pine nuts and paprika.