Quick and easy recipe for Zucchini and Mint Spread that needs only five ingredients. Great, delicious way to use up those summer zucchinis and squashes!
With the summertime glut of zucchini and squash comes a need for recipes to use up these veggies. If you grow zucchini, you know how they seem to get larger and larger by the hour in their growing cycle. The more you pick, the more new zucchinis that seem to grow! They’re also cheapest and at their best quality in summer, so here’s a really simple, delicious recipe to try!
This recipe actually originates from another Middle Eastern recipe. Stuffed vegetables like peppers, eggplants, and zucchinis are a mainstay of Middle Eastern cuisine. These mahashi are made by using a special tool to core out the innards of small-sized veggies, then stuffing them with seasoned rice, and finally cooking whole in vegetable stock or thin tomato broth. All those innards are not thrown away, though. They are cooked down, seasoned, and served as a dip alongside the stuffed vegetables. Many people like this zucchini spread so much that they don’t wait until they have leftover vegetable pulp innards from stuffing veggies—they just shred the whole squash and cook it!
You can eat this warm or at room temperature. I love it drizzled with a lot of olive oil and with a squeeze of lemon juice. It can be a dip, served alongside hummus, muhammara, and mtabbal or it can be a spread that you slather into a pita bread sandwich or atop some sliced baguette.
- 5 cups shredded zucchini or summer squash
- 1 generous Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes (if you like a little spiciness)
- ¾ teaspoon dried mint or 2-3 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint or some of both
- more extra virgin olive oil for serving
- squeeze of lemon juice
- Shred your zucchinis with a box grater or with a shredder attachment of a food processor.
- Add the Tablespoon of olive oil to a large sauté pan or wok or pot. Over medium-high heat, sauté the minced garlic for 30 seconds or so. Dump in the shredded zucchini and add the salt, black pepper, and red pepper and stir to combine.
- Cook the shredded zucchini for 10-15 minutes until you notice that the water is mostly evaporated (as it cooks down, it will exude its water so stir it occasionally so the squash breaks down and the water disappears).
- After 10-15 minutes, you'll notice that the zucchini now has cooked down and looks less shredded than before. It will come together in a relatively cohesive spready mass. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint. Taste seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Spread into a shallow dish and garnish with more mint, olive oil, and some lemon wedges. Serve warm or room temperature with some bread.