Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Battle of the Bloggers - Za'atar and Sesame Zucchini Bites with a Sesame Lemon Dipping Sauce

Here we are posting another zucchini recipe this week, acting as though we have a garden and an abundance of zucchini that we are desperately trying to use up.  This is not the case.  No such garden exists.  Between all the bugs, dirt, allergies, and bugs, I can safely say that gardening is not my thing. 

My reason for posting zucchini again - these thick slices of zucchini are coated and baked in a mixture of panko, za’atar, and sesame seeds, and served with a lemon-sesame dipping sauce - comes from a very non-altruistic place.  

I have such a huge favor to ask of you.  If you like this recipe, I would love for you to to vote for it!

Smart Balance is running a Battle of the Bloggers competition.  The blogger whose recipe receives the most votes at the end of the contest will win a yearlong contract with Smart Balance to develop recipes!  

To vote for the entry (it's super quick):
 •  CLICK HERE to head to the Battle of the Bloggers Facebook app!  Then vote!

You will even have a chance to win prizes, including Calphalon products and a year's supply of Smart Balance products!  The contest runs now through August 11th.  

For the bites:
2 medium zucchini, cut into slices (about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick)
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups panko
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon za'atar
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
ground sumac, for sprinkling
paprika, for sprinkling
Smart Balance Cooking Spray

For the dip:
1/4 cup Smart Balance Omega Plus Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
pinch ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon za'atar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving

To make the zucchini bites:
Heat oven to 400.  Place buttermilk in a shallow bowl.  Mix together panko, salt, pepper, za'atar, and sesame seeds.  Place in a second shallow bowl.  Dip each zucchini slice first in buttermilk and then in the panko mixture.  Repeat for each slice.  Place on lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle each bite with just a pinch of sumac and paprika.  Spray the zucchini bites with cooking spray.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

To make the dipping sauce:
Stir all ingredients together.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top before serving. 


  1. Both the dip and the zucchini bites look great, Jenn.

  2. I love za'atar, it's one of my go to seasonings and this sounds like a great summer app or light dinner.

  3. Never heard of this. Sounds great!

  4. I love zucchini! I wish I didn't have a black thumb that I could grow my own. This sounds so crispy and spicy and amazing

  5. Love the look of your zucchini bites, Jenn...and what a terrific dip, too!

  6. Mmm, zucchini bites and with this dip, a perfect appetiser :D


  7. I love all the zucchini recipes! I'm not one for gardening either :) I thought I was the only one. I'll totally vote for you!!

  8. Well I have no zucchini to use up either but that hasn't stopped me from cooking with it nonstop! Love the flavors in these bites! Za'atar is such a great blend.

  9. You have my vote! This looks amazing!!

  10. just mouthwatering...looks delicious!

  11. Wow! What an awesome finger food. Love za'atar and love sesame. It sure sounds addictive to me.


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