Zucchini

Roasted Zucchini Salad with Garlicky Yogurt Dressing

I first tried this salad that originates  in the Aegean regions of Turkiye at my dear friend Canan’s house many years ago. I was hooked. A subtle sweetness of roasted zucchini, good old plain yogurt infused with garlic, a drizzle of olive oil with a dash of paprika on top (or, if I am in  a mood for aroma – a sprinkle of mint) – I am in love with this salad!

You can also call it a dip because it is somewhat smooth, with chunks of tender zucchini floating in a creamy dressing. There is nothing bad about it – it is super healthy and delicious. And comes together in no time. Modestly aside, I do get requests for the recipe whenever I take this salad to places. It is good with bread or with pita toasts. Enjoy!

Slice the zucchini (summer squash in these photos) and toss it with flour, salt and olive oil.

Roast it in the oven and mix with the yogurt dressing.

Roasted Zucchini Salad with Garlicky Yogurt Dressing

Serves about 8

Ingredients:

6-7 medium yellow zucchini (also known as summer squash) or 6 zucchini squash (the light-skin variety, not dark)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 2 cups plain yogurt (adjust the amount to taste)
2 gloves garlic, peeled and crushed (adjust the amount to taste)
Salt, to taste

For the Top:
Olive oil and paprika or finely crushed dried mint

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Greek Zucchini Pie – Kourkouto

Zucchini Pie

This delicious Greek pie comes from my blogger friend Peter at Kalofagas, and I can’t thank him enough for this recipe. I’ve made this most delicious zucchini pie called Kourkouto in Greek many times since Peter posted it on his blog and I decided to share the recipe with my readers.

According to Peter,  this pie “is somewhere between a quiche and a frittata, utilizing Greek ingredients to offer up a flavourful, light main course for lunch…The dish’s title contains the word Kourkouto (from Kourkouti), which means a “batter” and a major component of the dish is flour.”

Kourkouto is easy to make and is absolutely delicious. My slight change to the recipe was the use of parsley instead of dill – I tried the recipe both with dill and parsley, but liked it with parsley more. I believe it’s a matter of taste, so use any fresh herb you like. Also, when I don’t  have Kasseri or Mild Cheddar, I use Mozzarella cheese and it works perfectly well too.

Peter, thank you for the recipe!

GREEK ZUCCHINI PIE – KOURKOUTO
Slightly adapted from Peter’s Kalofagas blog
Original recipe by Dina Nikolaou

1/2 cup olive oil
1 cups finely chopped green onion

3 zucchinis (Mexican or Italian), about 1  1/2 pounds, diced
5 large eggs
1 cup of strained Greek yogurt (if not available, use plain yogurt, drained of its liquid on a cheese cloth)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kasseri or Mild Cheddar cheese, grated (If none is available, use mozzarella)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
ground pepper to taste
sweet paprika to taste (and for garnish)
slices of zucchini rounds (for finishing)

Grease a 15 X 10 baking tray with vegetable oil.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and diced zucchini, sprinkle them with some salt and saute over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until soft (but not mushy, they should hold their shape at the end!) and have most of the liquid evaporate (should reduce to about half). Take off the heat and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk your eggs with a wire whisk or a mixer for a couple of minutes until mixed well.  Add the yogurt and stir in to mix. Add the flour and baking powder and mix in.

Add the crumbled and grated cheeses and sauteed vegetables and mix to incorporate. Add some ground black pepper and sweet paprika. Have a taste and adjust seasoning (probably will not need any salt).

Stir in the chopped fresh parsley and pour the mixture into your greased baking dish.

Top with round slices of zucchini and sprinkle some sweet paprika over the entire mixture.

Place on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until golden on top.

Allow to rest for about 15 minutes and then cut up into slices.

Serve warm or at room temperature. It makes a perfect snack appetizer when cold, too.