Zooks and Cilantro Sauce 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

May 21, 2014

The vegetables are rendered tender on the inside and charred on the outside, with smoky flavor throughout.

Go ahead and double the sauce; we think you'll be using it on lots of things.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings; 4 main-dish servings or 8 side-dish servings

  • Four 6-to-8-ounce zucchini
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Seasoning blend of your choice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup low-fat half-and-half
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Prepare a smoker or grill for indirect heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to low (200 to 220 degrees) with the lid closed. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a low fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 10 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Brush the grill grate.

Rub the zucchini liberally with the oil, then sprinkle all over with the seasoning blend. Arrange the zucchini in the smoker or on the indirect-heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour or until tender.

Meanwhile, combine the cilantro, parsley, scallions and garlic in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Add the broth and half-and-half; process until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a small saucepan; heat over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by one-quarter, being careful not to let it come close to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in the lime juice to form a sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

When the zucchini are ready, cut each one in half lengthwise, arranging the halves on a platter as you work. Spoon the sauce over them. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue," by Cheryl and Bill Jamison (Revised Edition; Harvard Common Press, 2014).

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.

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Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.