It’s about the time of summer when zucchini is everywhere. This recipe, from Claudia Roden’s New Book of Middle Eastern Food, is a good way to use up extra zukes or (as Roden points out) use the hollowed-out insides of zucchini if you happen to be making kousa mahshi. And one of its byproducts is a lovely light vegetable broth, which you can freeze and stash for later use. Fresh mint gives the dish a bit of zing and it’s delicious warm or cold, making it perfect for summer. It’s great on its own or as a spread on toasted bread (you could even top a burger with it). I made a batch with some lovely zephyr squash from the farmer’s market.
Kousa Mabshoura (Mashed Zucchini with Onions, Garlic, and Mint)
adapted from Claudia Roden’s New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
2 pounds zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
3.5 cups of water or stock (you can use either)
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Large handful of chopped mint leaves
Salt and pepper
First, boil the zucchini for 15 minutes or so or until they are fork tender. Drain them and place them in a strainer lined with a cheesecloth; mash them so they are free of excess liquid. Save the stock including the liquid you squeeze out and freeze it.
Next, fry the onions in oil till they begin to brown, and add the garlic. Top with the mint and stir in, then add the zucchini, salt, and pepper.
Let everything cook on medium high heat, but don’t stir too much – you want the zucchini pieces to brown a bit before turning the mixture over once or twice. Everything should be finished in about 5-7 minutes.
Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. You can also serve with plain Greek-style yogurt for a different texture.