Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Herbed Yogurt


We have entered a new season and, with Rosh Hashanah last week, the start of a sweet new year. After our summer of wildfires here in the Methow Valley, these stunning autumn days are welcome. Mother Nature is raw and fierce and beautiful in turn.


I’ve been busy chasing life this summer. I’ve made new friends and learned new skills. My new store is bustling and we recently launched a newly redesigned shopping website and I’ve neglected Blue Kale Road. Now, as we ease into fall and its sunny days and crisp nights I find a comforting time to reconnect with old friends. Although I try to slow down, our new season is already moving at a quick pace - Sam is back at college, Isaac is in his senior year, and life is full and good.


I love spiced pear cake at an autumn potluck, community gathering at a local cider pressing and seeing the first Delicata squash. We still have an abundance of tomatoes and zucchini at the market, though, reminding us that the best of summer is lingering for just a bit longer.


This month, the Tasting Jerusalem theme is to pick any new recipe from the book to try, so I chose a salad with tomatoes and zucchini in mind. Chunky Zucchini and Tomato Salad is a combination of grilled tomatoes and zucchini, stirred into an herby yogurt mix. Why I hadn’t tried this one yet is beyond me, because it is filled with so many of my favorite ingredients. First of all, the yogurt mix alone is truly fantastic and makes a tempting dip on its own. Fresh mint, parsley, chiles, garlic, walnuts, date syrup and lemon are stirred into thick yogurt. Divine.


The recipe calls for charring the tomatoes and zucchini on the stove top and then finishing in the oven, but since I’m looking for any opportunity to continue cooking outside I grilled the veggies on the barbecue.


The vegetables are then chopped and folded into the yogurt mix. I decided to serve the veggies and yogurt side-by-side in order to get the individual flavors as well as a mix of the two. In honor of Rosh Hashanah, I used pomegranate syrup instead of date syrup, which added a tart richness.


Crunchy, vibrant, creamy and bold, this is a gorgeous dish. It would be marvelous alongside simple grilled fish or make a hearty appetizer served with crusty bread. If you still have access to summer’s tomatoes, you won’t be disappointed.

Fall. It’s good to be back.

Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Herbed Yogurt
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

2 pounds yellow or green zucchini
4-5 large, ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thick, plain whole yogurt
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1-2 fresh chiles, to taste (original recipe calls for red, but I had a jalapeno on hand and used that), seeded and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup, plus more to drizzle (original recipe calls for date syrup, so if using date syrup increase the lemon juice to 2 tablespoons
2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a barbecue on high. Slice the tomatoes and zucchini in half lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Place the vegetables cut side down on the grill and cook until lightly charred and soft. Remove from the grill and let cool.

In a bowl, combine the yogurt and remaining ingredients and stir gently. Spoon the yogurt onto one side of a small platter or serving bowl. Chop the vegetables roughly and spoon them next to the yogurt. Drizzle with additional pomegranate syrup and garnish with mint. Serve immediately.

22 comments:

  1. That is so good;I have also done it from the book.Your shopping website looks very nice:)

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  2. Beautiful salad perfect way to use the tomato and zucchini and anything from Jerusalem is wonderful. How is the shop? Haven't heard anything for a while, hope you are doing well.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, the shop is lots of fun and going great. It has definitely kept me busy these past couple of months! We are all doing well and enjoying fall now. I hope all is well with you - I need to pop over and visit as it's been way too long. :)

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  3. Good to see you back! And with such a terrific recipe, too. Wonderful post -- thanks.

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    1. Thank you so much, John! It's good to be back. I've missed this community! :)

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  4. I'm glad to hear things are going so well, Hannah! I tried to grow zucchini in our garden this summer, but the plants never took. My last tomatoes are just about ripe, though...I love finding creative ways to use them. I made a cherry tomato, dill, and yogurt sauce for gyros a few weeks ago that was wonderful. I love that you grilled your tomatoes! Grilling tomato steaks is something I'm eager to try. Happy fall!

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    1. Hi Brianne! This is the first time I've grilled tomatoes and I'll be doing it again. We also grilled a lot of romaine lettuce over the summer...so very good! I love yogurt sauces and will try your combination over some fish. I hope you are enjoying fall!

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  5. Oh Hannah how I have missed your posts - your photos, warm writing, and creative cooking. Thanks for jumping back into Tasting Jerusalem! I have been eyeing this recipe! So glad you made it and loved it. And I do like the idea of keeping the veggies separate! Sarene and I are about to announce a little contest for everyone who tackled a wish list item - stay tuned. So glad to hear how well Aspen Grove is doing - wish I could find my way up for a visit.

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    1. You are so sweet, Beth - I've missed being here and part of the Tasting Jerusalem community. Happy to be back and eager to cook more! And I do wish you could come visit. One of these days our paths will cross. xx

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  6. How lovely to see a new post from you, Hannah, and so good to know that although busy, life is going well for you - especially with your store. This dish looks absolutely gorgeous. It's one I've had bookmarked for ages, and with summer just a couple of months away I can see I will be making a regular feast of this as soon as I'm picking fresh tomatoes and zucchini out of my garden.

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    1. Thank you, Sue! Life has been busy but I'm feeling more balanced now, which is good. Time in the kitchen is always a good sign! I have many recipes bookmarked to try and can't wait for Plenty More to arrive this month. I know I'll be inspired! I'm hoping to eat a few more fresh tomatoes before completely jumping into squash and apples.I hope all is well with you!

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  7. This sounds amazing and so satisfying. I have been on a yogurt kick and love to see it used in such a savory dish. So glad to see you back on here Hannah and that everything is going so well! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Alyssa! It feels good to be back - I've missed this community. I hope you are feeling well (!) and that we can connect soon. Hugs to you!

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  8. Welcome back! This looks delicious. So glad your store is doing well and so are you! Lashana tova!

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    1. Thank you, Amanda! I hope you are doing well and wish you a sweet (and delicious!) new year.

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  9. It's been way too long since I visited your lovely blog! What a beautiful recipe to share from 'Jerusalem', my favorite cookbook by far. And the spiced pear cake is something I'm really craving now. Happy new year to you and your family :-)

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    1. Thank you, Susan! Have you seen "Plenty More" yet? I can't wait to check it out. It's good to be cooking and sharing again. I hope all is well with you!

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  10. Just when I've finally relegated myself to the advent of fall you go and remind me of why I love summer SO much. And remind me I best go pick those last tomatoes too if I want them before our first nighttime freeze! The tomatoes in your photos? Just absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Barb! It really is a delicious blend of seasons during this time of year, isn't it? And the tomatoes did quite well so we indulged a lot. All good!

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  11. It sounds as though life is good but very busy. I'm glad you took the time to share this different salad with us.

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  12. I love recipes with tomatoes. This is great tasting for sure.

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