Consumed as I was by the unsavory side effects of these Carrots with Garlic and Yogurt, I'm not sure that I communicated how completely I fell in love with them—how, in retrospect, I believe them to be worth weeks of garlic-perfumed purgatory.
Having experienced repeated success with the recipe since then, and seeking to capitalize on the current glut of summer squash, I recently decided to experiment with zucchini—a variation recommended by the authors.
The instructions are the same, save the addition of dried mint. And, amazingly, they manage to tease out the same unexpected, smoky flavors from sauteed zucchini. Forced to choose, I would have to stick with the carrots—perhaps only because they came first, and thus raised my expectations unfairly. But I will continue to experiment with both versions, and invent others too. Could you substitute any vegetable here, I wonder, with the same rewards? Parsnips? Sweet potatoes? Rutabaga? We shall see.
Zucchini with Garlic and Yogurt
Adapted from by A Taste of Turkish Cuisine, by Nur Ilkin and Sheilah Kaufman
Seasoning the shredded zucchini mid-saute meant that it released a great deal of liquid. To avoid a watery dip, I would drain the cooked zucchini-onion mixture in a colander and wait until it is completely cool before adding the yogurt.
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound zucchini, coarsely grated
2-4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or paprika, optional
In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onions, stirring over medium heat for 5 minutes. Do not let them brown or burn.
Add the zucchini, stirring to mix well, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from heat and let cool. If liquid has accumulated in the bottom of the pan, drain it in a colander.
Crush the garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle. Place the cooled carrots in a large bowl and add the drained yogurt and the garlic mixture to taste. [I only used about 2/3 cup of yogurt and 2 garlic cloves.] Mix well and place in a serving dish. Add the dried mint.
If desired, combine 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the Aleppo pepper and drizzle in a design over the top of the carrots. [I just added the Aleppo.] Serve at room temperature or chilled.