Welcome to I Scream Kitchen! This is a blog to inspire you to try new dishes and make your cooking experience a pinch more fun!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Roasted Zucchini/Courgette Balls Bulgarian Style

I am of the definite opinion that the zucchini are amongst the most wrongfully neglected vegetables in most western kitchens. Many find them tasteless or slimy, or just gross. Not once or twice, have I noticed friends of mine pushing them aside to the rim of their plates with a grossed-out facial expressions. I have to say, when I was younger, I was definitely not a fan either! However, the thing with zucchini is that they contain loads of water and if prepared wrong they can indeed be rather slimy. So, the way I like them is when they are a bit crispier and the recipe I am sharing with you today is an amazing way to add some healthiness to your weekly meals.

I admit, I am a convinced carnivore and I would usually really miss the presence of meat at the table (don’t let me begin what kind of a failure my fasting attempts were… why do I even try?!); however, this is one of the rare vegetarian recipes, where I feel that nothing is missing. So, that’s, also, a great one to make when you have some vegetarian guests and you don’t want to either cook 2 meals, or suffer with a tasteless soy dish. It is really wholesome and is bang full of flavor! Let’s not even mention how good from a diet point of view it is, especially if you go for a low fat option on the dairy products. I am absolutely addicted to it, especially when the weather gets a bit warmer, as it’s really nice and light. You don’t feel like a sweaty pig after dinner in the summer. I am generally a fan of yoghurt-based veg dishes in the spring and summer as it adds freshness. The only thing I have found with those is that that, even though they are super easy to prepare, they usually take some time, so if you like them as much as I do, you can make a huge batch and pop some in the freezer. I use my zucchini balls as a substitute for all those frozen potato and other similar pre-made things you usually have to fry, and I have to say the zucchini dish is just as satisfying even when you’re hung-over. Without any further ado, here’s the recipe and do let me know if you decide to make it yourselves or it sounds cool to you.

Roasted zucchini balls with yoghurt sauce... and my messy room as a background

Zucchini balls recipe:

(For 3-4 people)

For the balls:

1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) zucchini (baby marrow, courgette)
½  cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 eggs
½ cup dry bread crumbs
200 g (0.45 lbs) white brine cheese/feta crumbled up

For the yoghurt sauce:

400-500 ml (14-17 oz) Bulgarian/Greek style yoghurt (should not be sweet tasting, rather either the creamy or the more sour type)
2 crushed garlic cloves
½  cup finely chopped fresh dill (if you don’t have it, don’t substitute with dried)


1. Heat up the oven to 225-250 C/ 440-480 F.

2. Peel the zucchini and grate them on the smallest setting of your grater. Put them in a sieve or colander and sprinkle them with salt, so that the moisture would be drawn out of the vegetable. If you don’t have either, you can put some kitchen paper under the grated zucchini, so it can suck up all the water. Set aside.

3. Mix all the products for the sauce and set aside, so the garlic can make the mixture more aromatic.

4. Get rid of the residual moisture from the zucchini. You can either squeeze it out by hand or through a muslin cloth, but make sure you leave no water in whatsoever! Otherwise, the dish will be slimy. Nobody likes a slimy ball!

5. Mix the squeezed-out zucchini with the rest of the products for the balls, form little…well balls (better be flat so they bake faster) and bake for 30-45 minutes in a baking tray laid with baking paper (no fat is needed here) until golden.

6. Serve with the sauce. They are actually really good cold, as well. You can also freeze them (without the sauce) and when you want to have them just defrost them and pop them in the oven till warm.
Zucchini balls, roasted

Zucchini balls with sauce on top