Sautéed Zucchini with Za’atar and Crispy Chickpeas
Couscous makes a nice bed for this simple side dish flavored with za’atar, a zesty Middle Eastern blend of spices and sesame seeds.
2/3 cup cooked chickpeas
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. za’atar
1 lb. small zucchini (3 to 4), cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
1/2 small red onion, finely diced (3 to 4 Tbs.)
In a colander, rinse the chickpeas. Pat dry in a clean dishtowel. Spread the cornstarch in a pie pan or on a dinner plate with raised edges. Add the chickpeas and roll them around to coat. Transfer to a mesh strainer and shake to remove excess starch.
In a small (8-inch) skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add the chickpeas, cover with a splatter screen, and cook, gently shaking the pan from time to time, until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle the chickpeas with 1 tsp. of the za’atar and a generous pinch of salt. Roll the chickpeas around to evenly coat with the spice mixture. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until shimmering hot. Add the squash, arranging it to fit in a single, snug layer. Season generously with salt and cook undisturbed until deep golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Push a spatula through the pan to turn the squash over, following with tongs or a fork to flip any unturned pieces. Sprinkle the diced onion and remaining 1 Tbs. za’atar over the zucchini and stir with a spatula to blend. Transfer the zucchini to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the fried chickpeas and serve.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 106
, pp. 66
July 8, 2010