Grilled Zucchini with Yogurt Sauce, Feta, Lemon and Dill
If you are grilling lamb, chicken, sausage, or salmon, make some room on the grill for halved zucchini. When they're richly browned, nestle the zucchini on a bed of garlicky yogurt, crumble feta over the top, and then shower them with lemon zest and dill. For eye appeal, use a mix of summer squashes--green and golden zucchini and the flat scallopini types. At my house, we like this dish so much that we often dispense with the meat and just have grilled zucchini for our dinner, with bulgur, couscous, or rice.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe CourseAppetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureCreamy, Savory, Smoky
Type of DishVegetable
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 large clove garlic, grated or finely minced (see Notes)
- Kosher or sea salt
- 6 small zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved lengthwise
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 3 ounces feta cheese (about 3/4 cup), chilled
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Grated zest of 1 small lemon
- Medium-hot coarsely ground red pepper such as Aleppo or Maras pepper, or hot paprika
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, and salt to taste. Spread the yogurt sauce on a serving platter large enough to hold all the zucchini in one layer.
Brush the zucchini on both sides with olive oil and season all over with salt. Place cut side down on the grill and cook until nicely browned, and then turn and finish cooking on the skin side until they are tender, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the zucchini to the platter, placing them on the yogurt sauce cut side up. Finely crumble the feta over the zucchini. (This is easier to do if the feta is cold.) Combine the dill and lemon zest and scatter over the zucchini, and then sprinkle generously with red pepper. Serve immediately.
Grating versus mincing garlic: I typically use a Microplane‚ a rasp-style grater available at kitchenware stores‚ when adding garlic to yogurt. You can also mince the garlic finely with a knife‚ but I find that grated garlic infuses the yogurt better. It practically dissolves‚ so you don't perceive any little bits of garlic in the yogurt. However‚ for a dish with sautéed garlic‚ such as Orzo with Spicy Lamb‚ Chickpeas‚ & Yogurt‚ I prefer to mince it‚ as grated garlic produces too strong a flavor.
Maras and aleppo pepper: Aleppo pepper is from Syria (though also grown in Turkey)‚ Maras pepper is from Turkey‚ but both of these coarsely ground red peppers have a fruity‚ earthy flavor and a medium-low to medium level of heat. Keep in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator or freezer up to 6 months.
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2015 Janet Fletcher