Persian Baked Zucchini – Recipe

Persian Baked Zucchini
Persian Baked Zucchini

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.

This dish goes great with Chickpea and Potato Stew and Persian rice pilaf (chelo with tahdig), or this Syrian red lentil soup.

Persian Baked Zucchini
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)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan or Modifiable.

6 Responses to “Persian Baked Zucchini – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    July 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I love how simple and still surprisingly flavorful/unconventional this dish looks. I’m not a huge zucchini fan, but I bet the basic idea works for almost any vegetable. I’ve got some leftover cauliflower in the fridge — I think I’ll try this recipe out on it for dinner tonight!

  2. Reply
    July 7, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Very interesting way to cook zucchini. When I first saw your photo I thought the breadcrumbs were Sumac, which I think would taste fantastic on this!

  3. Reply
    July 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Sounds amazing! I’m collecting summer veggie recipes on my site – stop by and link up your faves!

    link to

  4. Reply
    July 18, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    what great flavor! i’ll certainly make this many more times. Enjoyed by all. thanks! easy to make too!

  5. Reply
    July 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Hi Michael ,
    Lovely blog !
    I love zucchini … great way to cook it! I am going to try this soon ! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  6. Reply
    May 11, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

    Fantastic. 7-year-old leaped to get the leftovers. She had feta, and we had blue cheese on top–not traditional, but delicious! Served with lemony white beans. Thanks again for another great meal!

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