Zucchini "Baba Ghanoush" From 'Plenty More'

Broiled zucchini forms the base of this za'atar-spiced dip. . Jonathan Lovekin

Throw any preconceptions you have about this spread out the window; the name is perhaps misleading. As Yotam Ottolenghi says in the introduction to this recipe from his new cookbook,Plenty More, this is only vaguely reminiscent of baba ghanoush. Ottolenghi first broils the zucchini, which become slippery, silky, and smoky. Gently mashed with garlic, at this point the squash does call to mind the more familiar eggplant spread. But there the similarities end.

Ottolenghi, in his infinite and peculiar wisdom, tops the zucchini mixture with a custard sauce made with goat's milk yogurt, Roquefort cheese, and an egg. Did your brow just furrow? I admit, I would never have come up with that funky concoction, but those three ingredients create a sauce that is pungent, rich, and intriguing. (Actually, it becomes something of an earwig—I can't stop thinking about it. Is it weird that I want to try it as a savory ice cream?) And on top of that goes toasted pine nuts and the lightly lemony, chili-laced butter he toasts them in. Finally, a sprinkle of za'atar finishes off this "volcanic eruption" (his words) of a spread.

Why I picked this recipe: I couldn't envision what this would taste like all together, which meant I had to try it.

What worked: Every bit of it. Broiling the zucchini is a wonderful way to cook the usually bland squash: it takes on smokiness and sweetness and a character of its own. The Roquefort (a sheep's milk blue cheese) and goat's milk-yogurt sauce is pretty jaw-dropping, which is convenient, given my desire to shovel it in. The toasty, spicy pine nuts and butter and the herbaceous za'atar add textural dimension and warmth.

What didn't: **The sound of crickets chirping...**

Suggested tweaks: As is always the case, if you have a scale, go with weighed amount. My zucchini were huge, and it only took three to meet his weight measurement.

Reprinted with permission from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Recipe Details

Zucchini "Baba Ghanoush" From 'Plenty More'

Active 30 mins
Total 75 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 5 large zucchini (about 2 3/4 pounds/1.2kg)

  • 1/3 cup (80g) goat’s milk yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons (15g) Roquefort, coarsely grated

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon (15gunsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (20gpine nuts

  • 1/2 teaspoon Urfa chile flakes, or a pinch of regular chile flakes

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar, to finish

  • Salt and black pepper


  1. 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. The zucchini can be served warm or at room temperature.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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 the pine nuts. Finish with a sprinkle of za’atar and serve at once.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
182 Calories
11g Fat
13g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 182
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 434mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 41mg 207%
Calcium 197mg 15%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 1022mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)