Zucchini season is just about to hit in earnest. This recipe is a nice way to turn them into a delicious side dish with minimal effort. It mostly handles its own business in the oven, so you can focus on the rest of dinner.
We normally think of dried mint only for making mint tea, but in Persian cuisine it is frequently used in savory foods, where it adds a pleasing hint of bitterness and only a hint of actual mintiness. Don't think of it as a replacement for fresh mint, think of it as a completely different product.
Vegetarian, vegan (option) and gluten-free (option)
- 8 medium zucchini (2 pounds), cut in half lengthwise then in 1-inch segments
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for garnish
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons homemade breadcrumbs (omit for gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (omit for vegan)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a baking dish big enough to hold the zucchini in a single layer, toss together the zucchini, salt, olive oil, mint, dill, cayenne and several grinds of black pepper.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle on the breadcumbs and bake or carefully broil until the breadcrumbs are browned, about 5 more minutes. Serve hot or warm, garnishing with the feta cheese, and drizzling on a little more olive oil at the last moment.