Spicy or grilled foods call for a cooling accompaniment, and this creamy and unusual side dish is the perfect contrast to a hot main dish.
It couldn’t be simpler to make, but you can dress it up with optional garnishes of black olives, tomatoes, or hard-boiled egg. The perfect use for small, sweet new zucchini.
2 pounds small zucchini, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons full-fat plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Imported black olives for garnish (optional)
Sliced hard-boiled egg for garnish (optional)
2 scallions, chopped, and 2 tablespoons fresh dill
Tomato slices for garnish (optional)
1. Place the zucchini in a large saucepan of boiling water and let continue to boil until very soft and easily squashed with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain in a strainer and press down with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out any liquid.
2. Transfer to a medium-size bowl and mash with a fork, then stir in the olive oil, yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt. Arrange on a platter and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving cool or at room temperature.
3. Garnish with black olives, egg slices, scallions, and dill, and/or tomato slices.
Adapted from Little Foods of the Mediterranean, by Clifford A. Wright (Harvard Common Press, 2003). Copyright (c) 2003 by Clifford A. Wright. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from Little Foods of the Mediterranean, by Clifford A. Wright (Harvard Common Press, 2003).