Smashed Zucchini With Chickpeas and Peanuts
The contrasting flavors and textures in this dish might make you wonder — in a good way — “What is going on here?” First, raw zucchini is treated like cucumber, smashed and left to intensify with salt and lime juice. Next, it's showered with toasted chickpeas and peanuts, which are zingy from lime zest and citrusy spices like sumac or coriander. Offsetting the sweet crunch of zucchini and the fatty, crispy topping are thick rounds of jalapeño. Eat this quick mix with whole grains, tortillas or pita, yogurt, Cotija or another crumbly cheese, salad greens or soft-boiled eggs.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½to 2 pounds zucchini (about 3 to 4 medium)
- 1jalapeño, halved lengthwise, stemmed and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons
- 2limes, 1 zested and juiced, the other cut into wedges for serving
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1(15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
- ¼cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted)
- 1 ½teaspoons ground sumac, coriander or a coriander-based spice blend like baharat or berbere
Step 1Trim the zucchini ends and slice lengthwise into quarters. Position cut sides down, then smash with the side of your knife until craggy and split. Rip into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a colander set in the sink, then toss with the sliced jalapeño, lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let drain while you cook the chickpeas.
Step 2Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium. Add the chickpeas and peanuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are lightly browned and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lime zest, sumac and a sprinkle of salt. Stir until fragrant, then taste and add more salt as needed.
Step 3Shake the zucchini to get rid of any excess liquid, then transfer to a platter or plates. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then top with the chickpeas. Get a spoonful of everything and taste. Add salt and a squeeze of lime until flavors are bright and zingy. Serve warm or at room temperature (although the chickpeas become less crispy as they sit with the wet ingredients).