Moroccan cuisine is full of salads that are made with one vegetable only (carrots with cumin, braised eggplants, potato salad, steamed broad beans – I will present some of them later). Traditionally, we serve many salads of this kind in small decorated plates during the same meal. It is somehow like Lebanese ‘mezze’, except that they always accompany a main dish of meat or legumes. This tradition allows eating a variety of vegetables, cooked in different ways, and switching from warm to cold as it pleases during the same meal.
Today, I saw beautiful flower zucchinis at the market and I thought I should do some of these salads with it, simply dressed with spices, herbs and a dash of oil. Nevertheless, for the following recipe, I took inspiration from another kind of dish, a meat tajine which also contains zucchinis and zaatâr, oregano (if you do not know yet what a tajine is, it is a type of terracotta dish that we use in Morocco to slowly cook food, but it also refers to the stewed meals that are made in it). I love the association of zucchinis with oregano. This is an herb very close to thyme. It is very common in Moroccan cuisine and Moroccans use it in infusions for its digestive value.
This salad is very easy to make, in any season of the year and regardless of the variety of zucchinis available at that time.
Zucchini and Zaâtar Salad
1 pound / 400 g zucchinis
1 small onion
3 tbsp colza oil (or sunflower oil or ghee)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper
A few saffron filaments
1 tbsp oregano
Finely slice onions into small dices, pour them in a saucepan and cook with oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Peels the zucchinis. Depending on the variety you use, you might slice them differently (cut into half or 4 lengthways). Try to obtain rectangular shapes 1 inch / 2 cm wide, 1.5 inches / 3 cm length. Pour them in the saucepan. Add salt, pepper and saffron. It is better to soak the saffron in warm water beforehand (and to pour this water in the saucepan as well). In fact, this enables a better diffusion of smell and color.
Cover and cook on average flame for 10 minutes (if needed, add some water). Remove the lid and let reduce again for 3 minutes. When colder, add the oregano and serve. A tip to have a tasty flavor of oregano is to heat it on the lid during the cooking and then grind it into your hand (or in a mortar – but I prefer it the old-fashioned way!).
Hi there! I'm Majda.
Foodie, yogini, life lover!
Never miss a recipe.