Zucchini is broiled until charred and smoky, mashed, and then topped with a warm yogurt sauce and spicy brown butter pine nuts in this sultry zucchini baba ghanoush.
zucchini baba ghanoush

If you want to hear what crazy really sounds like, I advise you to stop by my apartment while I’m flipping through an Ottolenghi cookbook.

It’s an endless chorus of “He wants me to do WHAT?! With WHAT?! And put that WHERE?!”, followed by a dull thud as I fling the book across the room and position myself securely under the covers where those phantasmagorical recipes can’t get to me.

(But, really. Every. Time.)


Then, of course, because I have no self control, my curiosity gets the best of me and I end up making whatever I was shrieking about only to discover that YES this seemingly random combination of ingredients and cooking techniques is perfect, absolutely PERFECT together.

Who’d have thought history could repeat itself so exactly, so many times….and I would continue to find it so surprising.


The thing that got me with this recipe was not the zucchini stand in for what is typically an aubergine’s job. I can be open to new things! Really!! (Okay, in rare situations, but it happens.) Actually, I thought this was quite genius. Where eggplants can be bitter and tough to tame, zucchinis are slightly sweet, take well to charring, and turn into a silky buttery mess at the slightest nudge from some hot flames.

Nope, the thing that sent the cookbook flying across the room this time was the yogurt sauce.

You’re like, ummm that is SO normal in Middle Eastern cooking.

Hear me out: what if I rephrased it as the goat’s milk goat cheese custard sauce that gets it’s sleek smooth texture from a barely cooked (okay, semi-raw) egg. You’re trying to throw your laptop now. DON’T DO IT.

Because though it seems crazy, this sauce just works. It’s adds the perfect amount of luscious tang to this otherwise absurdly healthy dip. Topped with spiced up brown butter pine nuts that are pretty much the pinnacle of sheer buttery decadence, I adored it on pita chips, inhaled it straight off a spoon, and even stuffed it into a Middle Eastern burrito that I’m going to be sharing next week. It’s a jack-of-all-trades dip…and I’m so sorry that I ever had my doubts.


This baba ghanoush is my submission to this month’s Recipe Redux, the theme of which is SPRING CLEANING. A concept that I’ve heard of (in fairy tales), but have yet to actually practice in my own life. Someday.

Quite luckily, I had some pine nuts that were languishing in my pantry and a container of za’atar that is likely almost past its prime, so I made sure to find a recipe that would make good use of them. While this recipe is largely unchanged from the original, I did swap out the Roquefort in the yogurt sauce for goat cheese, mostly because I like it better, but you can add it back in if it’s more your style!

Zucchini Baba Ghanoush
Zucchini is broiled until charred and smoky, mashed, and then topped with a warm yogurt sauce and spicy brown butter pine nuts in this sultry zucchini baba ghanoush.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 5 large zucchini (about 2¾ lb)
  • ⅓ cup goat's milk yogurt
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • za'atar, to finish
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the broiler. Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for about 45 minutes or until the skin is crisp and brown, turning as needed to cook evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Peel off the skin and discard it. Put the flesh in a colander to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a small sauce pan with the goat cheese and the egg. Heat gently for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan with the pine nuts over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes and lemon juice.
  4. Put the zucchini in a bowl and mash it together with the garlic, ½ tsp salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Spread over a large serving platter. Top with the yogurt sauce, pine nuts, and a sprinkling of za'atar.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe


More dips!

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Mediterranean Tabbouleh Hummus Dip

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Hummus with Ful

white chocolate baba ghannouj

White Chocolate Baba Ghanoush

From Around the Web:

Berbere Spiced Red Lentil Hummus from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus from The Novice Chef Blog

9 Layer Bean Dip from Favorite Family Recipes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip from My Baking Addiction

Basic Brie Dip from Spoon Fork Bacon


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53 Responses to Zucchini Baba Ghanoush

  1. That recipes reminds me on my Granny, she used to make baba ghanoush on weekends. So many good memories 🙂 But using zucchini is new to me, lovely idea!!

  2. Sune Moolman says:

    I had to laugh at your description of the recipe book reading experience! Priceless. 😉

  3. now this is very interesting and very unique.

  4. Well there is goat cheese and brown butter so really… how could this possibly be bad?!

  5. bellini says:

    He is a genius, and to think he is not actually even a vegetarian. At least that is what I have read to shatter no dreams here.

  6. CakeSpy says:

    This is brilliant – absolutely brilliant. A perfect fusion of flavors.

  7. Ottolenghi is the master. Period. Freaking love this.

  8. I love the sound of a zucchini baba ghanoush!

  9. Love the idea of using zucchini here…it looks amazing.

  10. Lori R. says:

    Completely intrigued by this idea. Brilliant!

  11. Ottolenghi sure does have some interesting concepts for his recipes. Glad you feel the same way, I too had a raised eyebrow at the yogurt sauce. I know I would love it though! 😉

  12. SallyBR says:

    He is brilliant alright! I find myself with the exact same reaction while browsing any of his books….

    goat milk yogurt might be tough for me to find, but in all honestly I haven’t paid too much attention and one of our grocery stores might have it….

  13. I saw this on Instagram and had to run over here to see it in all it’s glory!!!

  14. Kathleen says:

    Lady, you are on a roll! I have one Ottolenghi cookbook, Jerusalem, but have never cooked from it because it intimidates me. Your hilarious lead up to this one has somehow made me think I should try! So thank you for that, but also for yesterday’s baked rigatoni recipe. It appealed to me because I have back problems and I love the idea of taking a couple of days off from cooking dinner. As I read it, I thought, “Maybe I’ll throw in some sun dried tomatoes.” And, “Does it really need the peas?” But I followed my general rule of not tinkering with a recipe first time out, no matter how simple it is, and guess what! It was yummy perfection exactly as you created it, so thanks a second time!

  15. I am actually shocked because I can’t believe I haven’t had zucchini in such a long time. Just seeing your post reminded me, I need to get some. I just love this recipe… so delish as always Joann. You do always make me hungry lol.

    Kay of Pure & Complex

  16. Pam says:

    I’ve heard it’s an intimidating cookbook! Great job on this one – it looks tasty with great textures and flavors. YUM.

  17. mira says:

    This sounds like a great book and the dish is lovely ! Great flavors and I need to make it soon!

  18. Kate says:

    I have a hard time digestively with eggplant, so I am so interested in this!

  19. Lynn says:

    I love the way you describe the sauce. You are a true food lover.

  20. Beth says:

    If Ottolenghi says it works, I’m going to believe him. And that goes double for you!

  21. Cecilia says:

    Hi Joanna. How are you. And here we have another great recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  22. Yessss this looks awesome! OMG especially with the toasted pine nuts, want some NOW!

  23. Zucchini Baba Ghanoush – why I would never have thought it possible – but that Ottolenghi chap sure knows a thing or two – eh? 🙂

  24. Erica says:

    Give me a dip and crackers and I won’t be talking the whole meal. I’ll just be stuffing my face instead. I love this, it’s so unique!

  25. Omg. I AM DYING!!! I want to eat this with you!

  26. I’m so going to make this next time we have guests!

  27. Emily says:

    You are too funny:) Your reaction to Ottolenghi is so similar to mine, except the fact that his food is delicious every single time keeps me going back for more. Glad to hear this dish was worth the effort! It’s now on my to-do list for when I’m drowning in zucchini!

  28. Oh my goodness this looks wonderful Joanne!!! I need to make this immediately!

  29. Susan says:

    I’m glad you came back out from under the covers to make this 🙂 It looks truly delicious!

  30. It never ceases to amaze me what unique recipes you come up with. Awesome. This looks
    delicious to me!

  31. Christine says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. I practically taste the pillowy mouthfuls from your pics!

  32. Sues says:

    I literally just said “mmmm” out loud. I <3 everything about this. YES.

  33. Oooh, good idea! I’ll have to remember this this summer when we are over run with zucchini!

  34. Joanne this is so GENIUS!! Never thought of making baba ghanoush with something other than eggplants!

  35. Kelly says:

    The zucchini is such a great idea and I am so intrigued by the goats milk yogurt. I can just imagine how delicious this is, it looks incredible!

  36. Marci says:

    I have Plenty and Plenty More, both fabulous. This recipe looks amazing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  37. Sounds like a very interesting recipe. I love zucchini so I would love to just dig in.

  38. Sarah says:

    mmm this reminds me of a good friend whose family was labanese and would make delicious baba ghanoush every time they had people over. That za’atar really makes it!
    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

  39. Ala says:

    Your writing though – seriously, Joanne, I’m in gosh-darned love! Flinging books across the room isn’t necessarily my forte, but I assure you I seriously consider doing it just a moment ago so I could be as cool as your cooking escapades suggest. Seriously. This zucchini baba ghanoush. I have about 3 zucchinis in my fridge right now–making ASAP!

  40. Agness says:

    It looks absolutely amazing. So so yummy!! I’m glad I found this recipe here but I’ve been craving a lot of zuchini recently :).

  41. grace says:

    this is a natural progression, but it never occurred to me to try it! zucchinis are much easier to come by than eggplants, so i may make this change permanent!

  42. I love this zucchini twist on one of my favorite Mediterranean spreads. Yum!

  43. Eileen says:

    Zucchini baba ghanouj is such a good idea! I am definitely keeping this one in mind for the midsummer zucchini explosion. 🙂

  44. Okay so I love baba ghanouj but I hate eggplants so I kinda reluctantly love the dip.. now I can love it like it deserves! Also not gonna lie that yogurt sauce sounds terrifyingly weird and has like ten kinds of dairy I totally can’t eat in it but I 100% want to try it now because I trust you. Also, um. Did you say burrito?????

  45. Kathleen says:

    I LOVE the idea of zucchini baba ghanoush but, I have to admit, the goats milk really really scares me!!!!

  46. Alexandra says:

    I do the EXACT same thing when flipping through Plenty. And then I make the dishes and I scream in delight because they are so different but SO freaking delicious. Love this appetizer idea! Can’t wait to try it.

  47. I know that before long, zucchini will be everywhere and we will all need new ideas for where to put them. This will be perfect!

  48. Kelsey says:

    The Ottolenghi team is incredible. 100% incredible.

  49. […] Zucchini Baba Ganoush via Joanne Eats Well with Others […]

  50. elly says:

    I prefer zucchini to eggplant, so I will have to give this a try! Ottolenghi is basically a genius.

  51. This is so brilliant! We are planting a ton of zucchini in our little Ppatch garden this summer. Printing this!

  52. Johanna says:

    WOW this looks A-MAZZZING! I love baba ghanoush but have never seen or thought to do it with zucchini. Will definitely be trying this soon!

  53. Kirsten says:

    I’m officially in love with the idea of this recipe. Goat cheese is my guilty pleasure that my fiance isn’t quite a fan of, so this is going into my repertoire for meals when he has a hankering for things I’m not found of. Thank you!!!!

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