At least once a month I cook Middle Eastern food for dinner. It is very casual, and we have a variety of dips (see the recipes for Mediterranean eggplant dip, tzatziki and tabbouleh) along with homemade pita. I will sometimes make a garlicky potato dip, similar to skordalia, that my children love. This week in my CSA bag from La Nay Ferme I got some potatoes, along with zucchini and green peppers and fresh herbs. I made the garlic potato dip and took it to a new level by adding roasted zucchini and green pepper. It is delicious and a nice way to add more vegetables into a child’s diet. I recently read Luisa Weiss’ charming book My Berlin Kitchen and in it she gave a recipe for slow roasting red bell peppers. Instead of putting them under the broiler, she slow roasts them in the oven for 45 minutes. It sounded interesting, so I tried it with green bell peppers for 30 minutes with good results. The purée is made in the food processor. Potatoes can get gummy, so the best way to avoid that is to combine all the ingredients except the potatoes and purée. Add potatoes last and pulse just until smooth.
Middle Eastern Potato and Roasted Zucchini Dip
1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. Greek style plain whole milk yogurt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. ground sumac
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place zucchini slices and pepper quarters on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and roast for 25-30 minutes until zucchini are fork tender and pepper skin has blistered. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then peel skin off bell pepper. While zucchini is roasting boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until fork tender then drain. Measure 1 c. roasted zucchini and place in the food processor bowl. Save the remaining zucchini if you have any for another use. Add bell pepper, the remaining olive oil and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Pulse until smooth. Add yogurt, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon juice and sumac. Pulse to purée. Add potatoes and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may need a bit more olive oil. Place in serving bowl. Serves 4.