There will come a time during the summer that you will have too much zucchini. It could be because your garden is cranking them out daily, or because your neighbor’s garden is cranking them out daily and leaving them on your front stoop. Or maybe you joined a CSA from your local farm and find them in your box each week.
This recipe is the perfect way to use up all that zucchini.
Use up zucchini with Babagazuk
You might be thinking to yourself: “I’ve never heard of babagazuk!?” Well, that’s because it is a made up word (think baba + zucchini). This recipe is a play on the delicious Middle Eastern babaganoush that features eggplant. My babagazuk recipe treats zucchini the same way by blackening them whole on the grill, draining the extra liquid and then blending with tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil and spices.
The result is a super creamy (and vegan!) summer dip that goes well with bread, crackers and chopped veggies. It even freezes perfectly for enjoying all winter long.
- Zucchini or Summer Squash: What’s amazing about this recipe is that the bigger the zucchini the better. Yes, those jumbo baseball bats that were hiding for days in the garden can be tamed on the grill and turned into a delicious dip. Both zucchini and summer squash work here.
- Tahini: My favorite brand is Soom. It’s different than the rock hard tahini covered in 2 inches of oil that you find at the health food store. It’s creamy right away without having to stir it for years. Soom is a women-owned, organic, climate pledge friendly small business. So yeah, worth it.
- Sumac: Another one of my favorite ingredients in the kitchen is the Wild Heimang Sumac from Diaspora Co. This woman-owned company sources South Asia’s freshest, heirloom, and single-origin spices, directly from their partner farms. The color, flavor and texture of these spices is worth every extra penny. Plus, you’ll feel great about directly supporting small farmers.
- Gas Grill: I’ve always made this recipe on my outdoor gas grill, but you could definitely do this on a gas stovetop. Just make sure the actual flame touches the zucchini skin to get it nice and blackened.
Questions about Babagazuk
Does the squash have to be a certain size?
Actually, the bigger the better in this case. Save the small, tender zucchinis for eating raw or gently cooked. Since the zucchinis for the recipe will be blackened on the grill, you’ll want to use a medium to large size so the whole thing doesn’t disintegrate during cooking.
I don’t have a grill, can I still blacken the zucchini on the stove?
For sure! I tried this once on my gas stovetop and it worked. Just make sure the flames are actually touching the zucchini so that you get that nice blackened flavor. Depending on the size of the zucchini, you might need to further bake them in the oven so the inside of the zucchini is soft.
Do I really have to drain the zucchini?
Listen, I am the queen of skipping steps in a recipe in the name of doing things fast, so I get it. By draining the zucchini, you concentrate the flavor of the smokey zucchini flesh. You can skip draining the zucchini but expect a less creamy dip that will need more salt and spices. Taste before serving!
Does this recipe freeze well?
Let me tell you a little secret… My husband and I are convinced it’s actually better after it’s been frozen. Freezing can change the texture of food once it’s been defrosted, and it works in babagazuk’s favor in this instance. Freeze the finished dip in a plastic pint or quart container to enjoy all winter long.
- 4 medium to large zucchini Approx 3-4 lbs.
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 T olive oil
- fresh parsley to garnish
- sumac/za'atar/aleppo/urfa to garnish
- Heat a gas grill to medium high heat.
- Add whole zucchini to the grill and close the cover. Turn occasionally until zucchini are blackened and soft. Remove from heat and cool.
- Peel each zucchini, placing flesh in a colander to drain. Drain for approx 1 hour. Don't discard the zucchini liquid quite yet – reserve some if needed for some extra flavor or liquid later on.
- In a food processor or high-speed blender add drained zucchini, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and olive oil. Blend until creamy. Taste for salt and consistency and add drained zucchini water as needed.
- Spoon babagazuk onto a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, sumac (or za'atar/aleppo pepper/urfa) and a few sprigs of parsley.
- Serve room temp with crackers, toasted bread, pita or fresh veggies.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.
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