Charred Zucchini with Zhoug and Feta
Zhoug is an herb and green chile sauce/paste from Yemen but popular in Israel as well and other parts of the Middle East.
5-7 small to medium zucchini or other kind of summer squash, washed and trimmed
2/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1-2 serrano chiles, minced (use the larger quantity if you like more heat), including seeds unless the peppers are very hot in which case you can remove the seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 – 1/2 cup good olive oil
2 ounces feta, crumbled (optional)
Set your oven to broil.
Put the squash on a sheet pan and set about 4-6 inches below the broiler element. Broil, rotating the squash when they turn brown or lightly char. Keep rotating until they are more or less evenly browned and are tender when pierced with the tip of knife. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.
If using whole spices, toast the spices in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until a shade darker and fragrant and toasty smelling. Remove from heat and put in a mortar and let cool.
Mix the herbs, hot peppers, garlic salt and olive oil in a bowl. Coarsely grind the spices with a pestle and add to the herb mixture. Stir well and adjust taste with salt.
Slice the roasted squash into 1-inch rounds and put in a serving dish. Top generously with the zhoug and the feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.