Pan-Fried Zucchini With Mint

Pan-fried zucchini with mint is a brilliant way to use up that summer bounty of squash and mint, 2 things that grow with abandon in the warmer months. A touch of Syrian flavor makes it an irresistible and lush (and healthy!) side dish.

A large white plate on a white background, filled with halved, browned zucchini, sprinkled with mint.

Adapted from Anas Atassi | Sumac | Interlink Books, 2021

In the Arab world, and most certainly in Syria, we love stuffed vegetables, especially zucchini. Serve this lovely dish in a pita to make ma’aleh, one of my favorite street foods.–Anas Atassi


Zucchini, and some of the other summer squashes, are pretty full of water. In other recipes, you might squeeze or salt out the water. However, in this recipe, you’re going to rely on high heat and a drizzle of oil to keep those squashes from getting squishy. Don’t be tempted to go low and slow on this one—when we say pan-fried, we mean pan-fried. The high heat and oil give you a crisp finish but also keep the moisture inside, making the finished veg tender.

Pan-Fried Zucchini With Mint

A large white plate on a white background, filled with halved, browned zucchini, sprinkled with mint.

This simple side dish was inspired by a dish usually made to use up the leftover, scooped-out zucchini flesh, but I use the whole zucchini here.

Anas Atassi

Prep 5 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 15 mins

  • In a nonstick skillet over high heat, warm the oil. Arrange the zucchini flat side down in the skillet and cook until it begins to look well-browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the zucchini, stir in garlic, and continue to cook until the zucchini is seared on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes more.  Be careful not to let the garlic scorch.
  • Add the mint, paprika, lemon juice, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  • Arrange the zucchini on a serving plate, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with torn or whole mint leaves, as desired. Serve warm.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 197kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 2g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 21g (32%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 52mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 547IU (11%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 18mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Originally published July 20, 2021

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