Zucchini & Tahini Salad
What can I say about this Zucchini & Tahini Salad? What adjectives can I draw upon that I haven’t used a million times before? I’m afraid, I’m going to use the most overused of them all… DELICIOUS. This time I REALLY really mean it!
I say delicious all the time. I say EVERYTHING is my favourite. In the moment I'm sincere and truly find everything tasty! On this occasion I am super super serious! This little Palestinian Zucchini & Tahini salad/dip is out of this world splendiferous!
It never ceases to amaze me when simple dishes turn out to be so tasty. It's like HOW DID I NOT ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS! Why have the Palestinians been keeping this secret all this time?!
Zucchini isn't really an ingredient I cook with a lot, not that I don't like it, but more I'm never really sure what to do with it. When I stumbled on this dish in a local generic 'middle eastern' restaurant a few weeks ago (my first COVID-19 era restaurant visit I may add) I could have burnt my mask with joy! Needless to say I didn't, but this salad stuck and I thought about it daily until I decided to create my own version.
A secret to a successful zucchini & tahini salad
The zucchini & tahini recipe is super simple. There are not many stages to creating this lovely dish. There are two keys to success.
- Frying the zucchini to not only reduce some of the moisture, which helps with the texture later, but also to add a little caramelisation (i.e. flavour).
- Tahini. I'm a huge fan - sesame is one of my most loved flavours. It's a bit magical isn't it?!
This salad/dip is rich, but not heavy - it's creamy, tart and nutty. A wonderful aromatic combination of yoghurt, tahini and the earthy, sweet zucchini. The dried mint brings a unique mellow mint flavour (use dried, not fresh - for once, dried is better!). To tip the taste over the edge, I liberally drizzled a little super-sour pomegranate molasses over the salad for serving which, let me tell you, was a very welcome addition.
Meze plates - the perfect way to eat
In Palestine, like most of the Middle East, dishes are served meze style. An often vast array of small offerings - delight after delight for arms to weave, scoop and dip amongst. The zucchini & tahini dip is a perfect contender to be served this way. By all means, serve it on its own with bread, vegetables or chips to dip but in order to fully appreciate its wonder - serve it alongside likeminded dishes (see below for some suggestions).
When I'm put in front of a meze table I am never happier. I normally have to be carried from the table as I wildly grab at anything left on my exit.
What to serve with zucchini & tahini salad
If you're in the mood to create a meze selection that includes this delicious zucchini dip I have some suggestions from all across the region. I love to eat this way so, here are a few of my favourites. Everything on the list can be served together - all the flavours work magnificently with each other.
- Hummus Bi Arnabeet – Hummus with Roasted Cauliflower
- Middle Eastern Lamb Kebabs (Kabobs)
- Turkish Beetroot & Yoghurt Dip
- Black Hummus
- Turkish Garlic & Yoghurt Sauce
- Turkish Bean Salad (Piyaz)
- Harissa Hummus with Za’atar
- Baba Ghanoush
- Turkish Carrot Salad
- Roast Duck with Black Za’atar
- Grilled lamb with Za’atar & Onion
This recipe is also one of my Best Dips in the Cook Eat World - go find out which others are on the list
How to make my Zucchini & Tahini Salad
Zucchini & Tahini Salad
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 zucchini (trimmed & diced)
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 3 tbsp Greek style yoghurt (plain)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 2 tsp mint (dried)
- 1 lemon (juice of)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat until hot. Add the diced zuccini and fry for 5-7 minutes until golden with some caramelisation. Remove from the heat.
- Tip the zucchini into a sieve over a bowl. This will drain the oil and any excess moisture. Let the zucchini cool completely.
- Add the zucchini to a bowl and using a fork roughly mash. Not completely smooth, more rustic.
- Add the tahini, yoghurt, garlic, mint and lemon juice and stir. Pour over the extra virgin olive oil and season with a little salt & pepper. Mix well.
- Decant to a serving bowl or platter and drizzle over a little more extra virgin olive oil, a little more dried mint and a drizzle of the pomegranate molasses.
- Serve at room temperature with flatbreads, pita, chips or raw vegetables to dip.
Did you make my Zucchini & Tahini Salad?
How did you go? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to tag @cookeatworld at Instagram.
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