Grilled zucchini puts hum in hummus

The trouble with late summer’s bounty of zucchini isn’t in the volume of the vegetable itself. Rather, it is in the lack of creative recipes for using it.

Because, frankly, what the world most certainly does not need are more recipes for zucchini muffins and breads and casseroles. A generous reader sympathetic to my ongoing battle to get my 8-year-old son to embrace more vegetables directed me to a recipe for zucchini hummus on blogger Kait Capone’s site, LaCucinadiKait.com. The recipe is precisely as it sounds — a hummus-like spread made from ground zucchini.

The recipe calls for pureeing raw zucchini, which held little appeal for me. So I grilled it first. I also upped the garlic, and added smoked paprika and salt. The result was insanely good.

A few more modifications in round two, and I had something I’d long thought impossible — an amazingly delicious, creative and even healthy way to use zucchini.

What to do with it? It certainly would make a fine sandwich spread or dip for vegetables, crackers or hunks of pita bread. I dumped some over a salad of baby greens and roasted vegetables and it was fantastic.

If you don’t want to crank up the grill, you also could pop the zucchini under the broiler for a few minutes. Coat the zucchini lightly with cooking spray or olive oil, then set on the oven’s lowest rack. Broil just until very lightly browned and starting to get tender.

GRILLED ZUCCHINI HUMMUS

I prefer roasted (also called toasted) tahini, but it can be hard to find. The recipe is still great with regular tahini.

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Makes about 2½ cups

1 large zucchini (about 1 pound)

¼ cup roasted tahini (sesame seed butter)

3 to 4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cumin

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