Zucchini “Baba Ghanoush”

“This looks rather like a volcanic eruption, in the best possible sense,” states Yotam Ottolenghi about this zucchini baba ghanoush recipe in his cookbook, Plenty More.

Indeed, it’s not the prettiest dip, but it caught my attention for a few reasons. Firstly, my husband won’t eat eggplant, so I thought that the zucchini substitute could work.

Secondly, I had a hummus years ago that had butter-sautéed pine nuts on it, as does this dip, and it was exquisite.

Thirdly, this “baba ghanoush” so resembled nothing I’ve ever made, that i just had to try it!

I was mostly excited that there are no garbanzo beans or tahini in this dip! Here’s the recipe from the cookbook.

Zucchini “Baba Ghanoush”

5 large zucchini, about 2 3/4 pounds
1/3 cup goat’s milk yogurt
2 tablespoons grated Roquefort
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon Urfa chile flakes, I used Aleppo flakes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon za’atar, to finish
Salt
Pepper

Preheat the broiler. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and broil for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice during the cooking, until the skin crisps and browns nicely.

Remove from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, peel off the zucchini skin, discard it, and set the flesh aside in a colander to drain; you can also scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

Put the yogurt in a small saucepan with the Roquefort and egg. Heat very gently for about 3 minutes, stirring often. You want the yogurt to heat through but not quite reach the simmering point. Set aside and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan with the pine nuts over low heat and cook, stirring often, for 3 – 4 minutes, until the nuts turn golden brown. Stir in the chile flakes and lemon juice and set aside.

To serve, put the zucchini in a bowl and add the garlic, a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a good grind of black pepper.

Gently mash everything together with a fork and then spread the mixture out on a large serving platter.

Spoon the warm yogurt sauce on top, followed by a drizzle of the warm chile butter and pine nuts.

Finish with a sprinkle of za’atar and serve at once.

This dip is better than incredible.

I served it with flatbread triangles.

The zucchini makes a nice base for the toppings.


It won’t be long until I make this again!

Full disclosure: I used goat cheese in this recipe instead of blue, only because there was blue cheese in another dish I served to friends the evening I served a variety of hors d’oeuvres.

 

 

 

 

By Published On: February 26th, 201887 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

87 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet February 26, 2018 at 6:05 AM - Reply

    This sounds delicious!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 7:26 AM - Reply

      It was heavenly!

  2. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 26, 2018 at 7:13 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious! Even though I’m a big fan of blue cheese, for such a Middle Eastern dish I would prefer goat cheese, as you’ve used.

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 7:27 AM - Reply

      I was surprised to see blue cheese, actually, but I’m no expert on Middle Eastern food!

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 26, 2018 at 8:53 AM

        I was born and lived in Israel for many years, so I’m know blue cheese is very rarely used in such foods. I guess he wanted to make the dish his own somehow… :)

      • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 9:29 AM

        Ah, I thought Ottolenghi was all about authentic food! Maybe Plenty was, and he got bored when he wrote Plenty More!

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 26, 2018 at 2:28 PM

        It seems so, and it’s very understandable.
        Also, Israeli cooking is about mixing all kinds of traditional foods into new dishes, so in this he is still “traditional” in a sense… :)

      • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 2:53 PM

        Gotcha!

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 26, 2018 at 4:51 PM

        :)

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 26, 2018 at 8:54 AM

        oops obviously I wanted to say “I know”… :)

  3. Ron February 26, 2018 at 8:38 AM - Reply

    Mini, this recipe will come in so handy this summer when we’re hopefully covered up with Zucchini. Looks so wonderfully creamy and yummy, wishing we had some local zukes to give it a try.

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 9:30 AM - Reply

      Oh, that’s my wish too. My garden has had a few rough years.

  4. Chica Andaluza February 26, 2018 at 8:49 AM - Reply

    Looks fabulous…I love aubergines and courgettes so adore all types of baba ghanoush.

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 9:30 AM - Reply

      Honestly, it’s a bit prettier than traditional baba ghanoush!

  5. chezlerevefrancais February 26, 2018 at 9:33 AM - Reply

    Love those pine nuts on top too! This dip looks delicious. We had aperos with our neighbours in the summer and we had a courgette dip but it was quite bland!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      I don’t think I like anything bland! Try this one – the preparation is very different, with roasting of the zucchini, and then the layer of cooked eggy yogurt…

  6. Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness February 26, 2018 at 9:56 AM - Reply

    I have always heard of baba ghanoush, but didn’t really know what it was. I disagree. This looks SO GOOD!!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 10:05 AM - Reply

      The buttery pine nuts help! Love this recipe.

  7. anotherfoodieblogger February 26, 2018 at 10:18 AM - Reply

    I love that this uses zucchini instead of eggplant! Wow great recipe for one of my book club meetings. :)

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 11:41 AM - Reply

      Oh yeah – perfect!

  8. Fourth Generation Farmgirl February 26, 2018 at 10:57 AM - Reply

    Looks fantastic!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 11:40 AM - Reply

      It was!

  9. Josette@thebrookcook February 26, 2018 at 12:51 PM - Reply

    Oh my goodness- this looks like a must try! Such an unusual combination of ingredients- I’m sure it was absolutely delicious.

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 6:59 AM - Reply

      And not just the ingredients, but the way the different layers were prepared. Loved it.

  10. gloria February 26, 2018 at 1:05 PM - Reply

    love this recipe and love Ottolegui books !!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      I always got marks for not proofreading, and I still don’t take the time to proofread. If I did I’d catch the typos and autocorrects!

  11. Darya February 26, 2018 at 1:06 PM - Reply

    I have the book and have been wanting to make this… why I haven’t yet is another question, but your post is a good reminder! Looks amazing!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 2:54 PM - Reply

      It was really good. I wish I could speak and write in French as well as you do with English!

  12. gloria February 26, 2018 at 1:08 PM - Reply

    “Ottolengui” I love zucchinis!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      Me, too!

  13. Angela@grapegravy​ February 26, 2018 at 1:45 PM - Reply

    Sounds delicious. I love the addition of butter toasted pinenuts. Yummmmmm

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 2:26 PM - Reply

      Yes, they’re fantastic on this!

  14. cookingwithauntjuju.com February 26, 2018 at 4:36 PM - Reply

    I have two of his books but not this one. The zucchini in the stores are rather small – I will wait until summer when they are larger!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Here’s hoping to a great zucchini crop this summer!

  15. ladyredspecs February 26, 2018 at 5:10 PM - Reply

    “Plenty More” is the one Ottolenghi book I don’t own. If I did I’d have made this for sure. On my todo list. Thanks for sharing

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 8:03 PM - Reply

      Probably!!! Such wonderful recipes in all of those books.

  16. Rini February 26, 2018 at 5:11 PM - Reply

    Unconventional. I like it!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 8:01 PM - Reply

      Yes!

  17. Blogtastic Food February 26, 2018 at 7:00 PM - Reply

    Love how you have presented this! I remember making baba ghanoush in chef school but didn’t do a very good job of it. This one looks much better (:

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 8:01 PM - Reply

      First of all, thank you! Secondly, I think this is prettier because honest to god, puréed eggplant is not pretty!!!

  18. Fran @ G'day Souffle' February 27, 2018 at 5:40 AM - Reply

    I can just smell all the incredible ingredients from here! This proves that good food doesn’t always come in pretty packages!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      Definitely! Although I don’t think it’s as explosive as Ottolenghi said!

  19. Debbie Spivey February 27, 2018 at 6:56 AM - Reply

    What an interesting recipe. I love eggplant and don’t use it enough. Thanks for giving me another use for it!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM - Reply

      Well this recipe actually utilized zucchini, but you could substitute eggplant for sure. I don’t like traditional baba ghanoush because I’m a color person, and puréed eggplant is terribly unattractive to me!

      • Debbie Spivey February 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM

        I think your substitution is perfect! Didn’t even think about presentation…lol!

  20. Rebecca February 27, 2018 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    This sounds so good! Especially since I’m not a big fan of chickpeas. And what a great way to use zucchini which we always seem to have way too many of!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 4:03 PM - Reply

      Thanks Rebecca!

  21. Greedyeats -Neha February 27, 2018 at 7:22 PM - Reply

    This is such a great recipe and I adore zucchini so much. Thanks for this wonderful share. I am going to try this over the weekend!

    • chef mimi February 27, 2018 at 7:26 PM - Reply

      I’m am positive you’ll love it! The layered components are all wonderful.

  22. Bill February 28, 2018 at 7:07 AM - Reply

    The Roquefort is a little unexpected yet intriguing. I have enjoyed this cookbook as well. They’re pushing some very interesting boundaries.

    • chef mimi February 28, 2018 at 7:58 AM - Reply

      Not intriguing enough for me to use it, but worth trying I guess. An Israeli cuisine expert and chef, Ronit, from Tasty Eats, says there’s no blue cheese in that cuisine, and that he was maybe trying to put his own stamp on this dish. I thought he only provided authentic cuisine in his cookbooks. Live and learn. But it’s really good with the goat cheese!

  23. David @ Spiced February 28, 2018 at 7:21 AM - Reply

    What a fun recipe idea, Mimi! I would never have thought about using zucchini in place of eggplant. Now I want to try that out myself…and I’ve been looking for a good way to use za’atar spice lately, too! Looks delicious!

    • chef mimi February 28, 2018 at 7:55 AM - Reply

      It’s definitely much prettier than puréed eggplant, if you know what i mean! And the different elements are fun.

  24. sallybr February 28, 2018 at 8:54 AM - Reply

    Hubby is not wild about eggplant, so this is a very nice option for our kitchen…

    not sure I’ll be able to find goat’s milk yogurt, but maybe…

    • chef mimi February 28, 2018 at 9:07 AM - Reply

      Oh, I didn’t. I just used regular. I’ve seen sheep’s yogurt in OKC, but that’s all. But I did use goat cheese!

  25. kitchenriffs February 28, 2018 at 10:58 AM - Reply

    Dips can be SO good. Many are a little beauty-challenged, but who cares? It’s flavor I’m after, and this looks like it’s packed with it. Good stuff — thanks.

    • chef mimi February 28, 2018 at 11:25 AM - Reply

      Yes you’re so right! Beauty-challenged is right!

  26. Linda Duffin February 28, 2018 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    That’s a great recipe. Drooling.

    • chef mimi February 28, 2018 at 11:24 AM - Reply

      It is that good!

  27. Marie February 28, 2018 at 3:55 PM - Reply

    What a delicious twist on traditional baba ghanoush using zucchini. So many layers of tasty flavours in this dip.

    • chef mimi February 28, 2018 at 4:06 PM - Reply

      Thank you! It was really fun to make, and really good to eat!

  28. Abbe@This is How I Cook February 28, 2018 at 5:09 PM - Reply

    Love this version and wouldn’t you know I have all his cookbooks except this one? But now I have this recipe and I can’t wait to try it!

    • chef mimi March 1, 2018 at 9:22 AM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Well, he has too many cookbooks.

  29. David February 28, 2018 at 5:43 PM - Reply

    You know, I have had this book since it came out and never even noticed this recipe! Thanks for bringing it forward – I love his cooking!

    • chef mimi March 1, 2018 at 7:07 AM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Well that’s easy to do. I probably noticed it because as much as i love eggplant, my husband doesn’t, so this was a perfect substitute. Plus, honestly, traditional baba ghanoush isn’t pretty.

  30. Tandy | Lavender and Lime February 28, 2018 at 11:56 PM - Reply

    Oh wow, this sounds like something I would most certainly enjoy. I might have to add this book to my collection :)

    • chef mimi March 1, 2018 at 9:23 AM - Reply

      There is a recipe for spicy scrambled eggs that is so appealing to me, plus a few others that I’ve bookmarked. It’s a good book.

  31. plentyplates March 1, 2018 at 12:00 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious chefmimi! Yotam’s books are some of the bests out there too

    • chef mimi March 1, 2018 at 7:09 AM - Reply

      Ottolenghi, and a few others before him, have really brought light to a fabulous cuisine. Thank you!

  32. StefanGourmet March 1, 2018 at 1:11 AM - Reply

    This looks like a nice combination of ingredients and the length of the list seems manageable (Ottenghi often uses endless ingredients). But I like almost anything that has blue cheese in it :-) I had to giggle at grated Roquefort. If it is real Roquefort, it is so soft there is no way to grate or even crumble it.

    • chef mimi March 1, 2018 at 7:08 AM - Reply

      And according to Ronit, there’s no blue cheese in Israeli cuisine, so obviously this isn’t a traditional dish, either. When I saw “grated,” I assumed it was maybe slightly frozen so it could be grated? Who knows. But this is a lovely and manageable dip!

  33. heather (delicious not gorgeous) March 1, 2018 at 9:01 PM - Reply

    doesn’t sound like baba ghanoush, but it does sound delicious! (; and buttered pine nuts?! yes, please! (i have a feeling they’d be good on a lot more than just zucchini baba ghanoush).

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      Exactly ! When I had the butter-sautéed pine nuts before, they were on a more traditional hummus, but there was also extra browned butter one top, as one would drizzle olive oil. Amazing.

  34. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) March 1, 2018 at 9:18 PM - Reply

    These photos are rocking my world right now. I have a feeling I’ll be making this. GREG

    • chef mimi March 2, 2018 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      You’ll love it. I mean, what’s not to like?!!

  35. Emma March 2, 2018 at 10:20 AM - Reply

    Yum, this dish looks and sounds amazing. I have never heard of anything like this before but I know I want to try it.

    • chef mimi March 5, 2018 at 6:23 PM - Reply

      I know – it’s not just baba ghanoush with zucchini. It’s so much more!

  36. The Hungry Mum March 3, 2018 at 1:19 AM - Reply

    would it be rude to grab a spoon and just attack this bowl??? So delish!

    • chef mimi March 3, 2018 at 10:10 AM - Reply

      Nope!

  37. camparigirl March 6, 2018 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    My husband won’t eat eggplant either, which is a bummer because it’s one of my top 5 favorite foods. This is an excellent substitute for when I make my Middle Eastern spreads. I really must buy Plenty More. Just made a potato and salmon grating by Ottolenghi that was beyond delicious.

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 8:10 AM - Reply

      Oh that sounds lovely. I don’t think one can own too many Ottolenghi cookbooks!

  38. Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli March 7, 2018 at 12:52 AM - Reply

    That looks incredible and it caught my attention as well! I love everything about this dip, I think the flavors are gorgeous and those buttery toasted pine nuts on top with the pinch of zatar, just perfect!

    • chef mimi March 7, 2018 at 8:09 AM - Reply

      Thanks so much. It was unique and truly wonderful!

  39. Julie Murkerson September 4, 2018 at 9:45 AM - Reply

    This is perfect! I love the creative twist-using zucchini instead of eggplant!

    • chef mimi September 4, 2018 at 12:22 PM - Reply

      It was really good – and much prettier!

  40. Judee April 10, 2022 at 11:59 AM - Reply

    Definitely sounds delicious and unique- I never expected it to not have chickpeas or tahini- but will be wonderful during zucchini season when I am looking for recipes.

    • Chef Mimi April 10, 2022 at 12:25 PM - Reply

      Let’s hope we both get lots of zucchini in our garden this summer!

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