What can I say about this Zucchini & Tahini Salad? What adjectives can I draw upon that I haven’t used a million times before? I’m afraid, I’m going to use the most overused of them all… DELICIOUS. This time I REALLY really mean it!
I say delicious all the time. I say EVERYTHING is my favourite. In the moment I'm sincere and truly find everything tasty! On this occasion I am super super serious! This little Palestinian Zucchini & Tahini salad/dip is out of this world splendiferous!
It never ceases to amaze me when simple dishes turn out to be so tasty. It's like HOW DID I NOT ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS! Why have the Palestinians been keeping this secret all this time?!
Zucchini isn't really an ingredient I cook with a lot, not that I don't like it, but more I'm never really sure what to do with it. When I stumbled on this dish in a local generic 'middle eastern' restaurant a few weeks ago (my first COVID-19 era restaurant visit I may add) I could have burnt my mask with joy! Needless to say I didn't, but this salad stuck and I thought about it daily until I decided to create my own version.
A secret to a successful zucchini & tahini salad
The zucchini & tahini recipe is super simple. There are not many stages to creating this lovely dish. There are two keys to success.
Frying the zucchini to not only reduce some of the moisture, which helps with the texture later, but also to add a little caramelisation (i.e. flavour).
Tahini. I'm a huge fan - sesame is one of my most loved flavours. It's a bit magical isn't it?!
This salad/dip is rich, but not heavy - it's creamy, tart and nutty. A wonderful aromatic combination of yoghurt, tahini and the earthy, sweet zucchini. The dried mint brings a unique mellow mint flavour (use dried, not fresh - for once, dried is better!). To tip the taste over the edge, I liberally drizzled a little super-sour pomegranate molasses over the salad for serving which, let me tell you, was a very welcome addition.
Meze plates - the perfect way to eat
In Palestine, like most of the Middle East, dishes are served meze style. An often vast array of small offerings - delight after delight for arms to weave, scoop and dip amongst. The zucchini & tahini dip is a perfect contender to be served this way. By all means, serve it on its own with bread, vegetables or chips to dip but in order to fully appreciate its wonder - serve it alongside likeminded dishes (see below for some suggestions).
When I'm put in front of a meze table I am never happier. I normally have to be carried from the table as I wildly grab at anything left on my exit.
What to serve with zucchini & tahini salad
If you're in the mood to create a meze selection that includes this delicious zucchini dip I have some suggestions from all across the region. I love to eat this way so, here are a few of my favourites. Everything on the list can be served together - all the flavours work magnificently with each other.