Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts

Image of a bowl of Zucchini with Chickpeas and PeanutsLotsa Squash
If you have a zucchini plant in your backyard, chances are you are running out of ideas for how to use your bounty. In my house, we are partial to this Zucchini Bread recipe from The New York Times. It’s ridiculously good. The problem is we can’t go around eating nothing but cake—much to the disappointment of our inner ten-year-old.

There are plenty of non-baked good ways of using your zucchini. You could spiral it and use it like pasta, or you could pickle it for a new twist on a summer favorite. Mediterranean cuisine is an excellent place to look for zucchini recipes. Yotam Ottolenghi has some really tasty ideas in his collection of books and/or online.

I found the recipe for Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts on The New York Times website. I can’t quite call it Mediterranean cuisine—though the flavors and ingredients would suggest that it is.

I have modified it to my own tastes in that I like a little bit more cumin and I felt it needed a little garlic. Also, the original called for Sumac. I prefer to use Za’atar which has Sumac in it as well as other warming spices.

Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts Recipe
Yields 4 servings
Adapted from The New York Times Cooking 

1-1/2 to 2 pounds zucchini (about 3 to 4 medium squash)
1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, stemmed and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons
2 limes, 1 zested and juiced, the other cut into wedges for serving
Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground Za’atar
1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 garlic clove, finely minced or ground to a paste (optional)
Pitas, for serving
Yogurt, for serving

Prep the veggies
Trim the zucchini ends and slice them lengthwise into quarters. Position the cut sides down, then smash them with a rolling pin until craggy and split. Rip the zucchini into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Transfer them to a colander and set it in the sink, then toss in the sliced jalapeño, lime juice, and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Allow the zucchini to drain while you cook the chickpeas.

Prep the chickpeas
Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and peanuts. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas are lightly browned and crisp (about 5 to 10 minutes).

Remove the chickpeas from heat and add the lime zest, za’atar, cumin (if using), garlic, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir until it releases fragrance, then taste the chickpeas and add more salt if needed.

Make the salad
Shake the zucchini to get rid of any excess liquid. Then, transfer the zucchini onto a platter or individual serving plates. Drizzle the zucchini with a little olive oil, then top with the chickpea mixture. Get a spoonful of everything and taste. Add salt and a squeeze of lime until the flavors are bright and zingy.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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