Sunday, July 22, 2012

Zuzu Ghanoush (Baba Ghanoush with Zucchini!)

Overabundance of zucchini? Try "Zuzu" Ghanoush, it uses THREE medium to large zucchinis!  That's better than zucchini bread which only uses like one zucchini, sigh.  If you have too many eggplants, of course you can use one large or two medium eggplant instead!

Zuzu Ghanoush

This is my absolute favorite recipe for Zuzu (or Baba!) Ghanoush.  It is smoky, tangy, and just the right amount of garlicky. Thanks to our friends A&A for their patient explanation of technique and baba recipe structure last summer!  My husband thought of making it using zucchini since we had so much, and I'm so glad he did! If you want to make Baba ghanoush, substitute one very large or two medium eggplants for the zucchini.
You can double this recipe easily if you like.  

3 Medium Zucchinis (about 8 inches long) charred on the grill or in the oven
1/2 cup best Tahini *
*This time I used a brand called "Beirut" and is imported from Lebanon.  Got it from a local Middle Eastern restaurant with an attached store, it is what they use in their hummus and ghanoush.  I've had success with many Tahinis, but the better the Tahini, the better the ghanoush!*
Juice of 2-3 Lemons (yup, it's a lot of lemon juice!)
1-2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Tbs to 1/4 cup ice water (depending on how thick your Tahini is)
2 cloves of garlic

You need a hot fire in your grill or a hot oven (your house will get smokey, so I suggest using the grill, but you can bake it in a hot oven right on the rack, cover the bottom of your oven with foil to catch juices!)  Choose your weapon!  Poke your zucchini (or eggplant) with a few holes and grill, turning occasionally, until black on all sides and very, very soft in the middle.  

Let cool then scoop the flesh out and drain it in a colander.  For zucchini, we found you could easily just peel off the skin rather than "scooping" out the flesh.  For eggplant, you definitely want to scoop.  Allow some of the grilled "char" or black parts make it into the mix as it adds a delightful smokiness that is unmatched!

While the zucchini is draining in the colander, take out a big bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, add your lemon juice, tahini, salt and garlic and process (or whisk) adding the ice water gradually until your mixture is runny and not too thick.  This will depend largely on the kind of tahini you use, some are thicker than others.  The tahini will turn lighter in color, almost white.  

Now, chop your zucchini into a baby-food like texture and add it to the mixing bowl or food processor.  Pulse or whisk until well combined, but not totally smooth.  Taste for salt and lemon, add more if needed.  

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.  It only lasts about 24 hours in my house, but I'm sure it will last for several days if no one is home to eat it!

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh pita bread, olives, cilantro salad (yummmmm!), or in wraps, sandwiches, on bagels, or whatever you like.



  1. Looks great.. I love baba ganoush but am now allergic to eggplant. Thank you for this alternative.

    1. My pleasure! I love it with zucchini, actually. I hope you do, too!