Roasted Zucchini and Tahini Puree or, Green Squash Ganoush

Anyone who grows zucchini would never turn that back on another recipe employing the garden's most prolific larger vegetable. Cafe Drake HRV's cunning riff on baba ganoush more or less replaces eggplant with zucchini, amping the spices to bolster the squash's milder flavor.

Begin by roasting three medium/large zucchinis just as you would eggplant - cut in half horizontally, place on a baking sheet and broil for 15-20 minutes, turning now and then. The zucchini will cook faster than the eggplant so check for burning. When properly broiled the squash should look similar to roasted eggplant, with dark, wrinkled skin that peels easily. Remove skin and discard.

Roughly chop the zucchini - it should be soft and mushy at this point - and place in a blender with 2-3 T. tahini, quite a bit of salt to taste, 1 t. dried red chile flakes, 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, a good glug of olive oil and 1 t. ground cumin. Process until smooth, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed.

Allow to rest for an hour so the flavors develop and mingle and serve chilled or at room temperature with toasted pita triangles, rice crackers or simply as a side dish. Optional but suggested garnishes include a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of finishing salt and a dusting of smoked paprika.


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