A clear sign that summer is at its peak is the abundance of zucchini and summer squash showing up in our CSA boxes, local farmers markets and in our gardens. The challenge is always what to do with all of them! This flavor-packed recipe for Grilled Zucchini with Za’atar, garlic, lemon and labneh- a middle eastern style yogurt has become my new favorite. So delicious…I hope you give it a try!
Za’atar, if unfamiliar, is a blend of middle eastern spices, varying from region to region, but most often includes cumin, coriander, dried herbs, sumac and sesame seeds. It’s the sumac in my opinion that gives the zucchini that extra flavor burst that makes you want to scream WOW! Anyways… I love it. It can be found in Middle Eastern Markets, and gourmet grocery stores. If you can’t find labneh, use Greek yogurt, or leave the yogurt off entirely if going dairy free – it tastes great without.
This simple veggie side dish pairs nicely with my Grilled Chicken Shawarma , Israeli Salad and Turkish Cucumber Salad…a delicious Middle Eastern Spread.
Start with two pounds of zucchini or summer squash.
To make it easier to grill, cut thick, ½ inch slices on the diagonal…this will make the slices a little larger so they won’t fall through the grates.
Place the Zucchini in a large bowl and toss with the zaatar, salt, garlic and olive oil, so each piece is lightly coated.
Place on a preheated grill.
I really like a good char when grilling anything. I realize this may looked burned to some of you, but to me, the deep char gives the zucchini a really great flavor.
Place on a platter.
Give a squeeze of lemon, a light drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling or Aleppo chile flakes, a scattering of flat leaf parsley and serve with a large dollop of labneh or yogurt. I like adding a few garden tomatoes for color.
- 2 lbs zucchini ( or summer squash)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Zaatar spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Garnish w/ flat leaf parsley, lemon, yogurt, olive oil, baby tomatoes, aleppo Chili pepper ( or chili flakes)
- Pre heat grill to High.
- Slice the zucchini on the diagonal, into ½ inch thick slices and place into a large bowl. Drizzle w/ olive oil, sprinkle w/ salt and zaatar spice and add the finely minced garlic. Using your hands, toss to combine until well mixed.
- Place zucchini on the hot grill using tongs. Turn heat down to medium high and close the lid and give a good sear, about 5 minutes. when there are good grill marks, turn over. turn heat down to medium, cover, grill until cooked through about 5 more minutes. If you like them very tender, move them to an upper rack, cover and continue to cook, on very low heat or place in a pan and cover with foil, letting them steam.
- When cooked to desired tenderness, place zucchini on a platter. One one side of the platter, or in a little bowl, spoon on Smoked Yogurt, Geek style yogurt or Labneh, garnish with a few cherry tomatoes, sprinkling of italian parsley, a squeeze of lemon and if you like a little drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle Aleppo pepper over the yogurt for a little heat. This is delicious with Grilled Chicken Shawarma! andIsreali Salad