This meal hits the spot as a side dish or a vegetarian meal. It showcases my three favorite summer vegetables: zucchini, corn, and tomatoes. With the additions of fresh basil, feta cheese, and Mexican crema, this dish is also elevated enough to wow.
My inspiration for this meal was social media — a viral Instagram reel making the rounds based on one of Thomas Kellar’s recipes. The seared zucchini recipe I saw had taken this recipe and put a Mediterranean spin on it with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and such. I saw it and thought: redo the recipe with summer veggies and basil. But, keep the feta. Oh, it turned out so good!
This is one of those recipes that takes a few steps, but it’s really not hard to pull off.
And it’s impressive. I felt fancy even eating the leftovers!
This recipe is enough for two people for a meal or four for a side. I encourage you to try it — it’s fun to make, and you’ll feel pretty accomplished at the end!
Here is a step-by-step photo how-to.
Seared Zucchini with Tomatoes, Corn, and Feta
- oven-safe skillet
- 2 zucchini
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 ear of fresh corn
- 20 Grape tomatoes
- 5 oz feta cheese (preferably from a block of feta)
- 1 cup Mexican crema you can substitute Greek yogurt
- 15 Fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut two zucchini in half vertically. You'll have four pieces.
- Score the zucchini crosswise and back again to make a diagonal grid across the cut side of the zucchini.
- Heavily salt the zucchini to make it sweat (maybe 1 tsp of salt per zucchini). Place the zucchini face down on paper towels for about 20 minutes to absorb all the water that will be drawn out.
- While waiting on the zucchini, cut the corn off of one ear of fresh corn. Set aside.
- Take one cup of Mexican crema or Greek yogurt, and add to a processor or blender with 4 oz of feta, preferably soft (from a block) and 12 leaves of basil, chopped. Also add 1/2 tsp of salt. Blend until thoroughly mixed (10-15 seconds).
- Add the avocado oil to a skillet (a skillet that can go into the oven) over high heat. Once hot, sear the zucchini for about 3 minutes (do not turn it over; keep it face down).
- Then add the corn and tomatoes to the skillet and then place the skillet in the oven (note: you can flip the zucchini before you add the corn and tomatoes. But, I have left them face down with success. If you have really large zucchini, I would definitely flip them before adding them to the oven.)
- Place skillet in oven for 7 minutes.
- Take the crema-feta-basil mixture and pour onto a large plate.
- Remove skillet from oven.
- Place zucchini, tomatoes, and corn atop the crema-feta-basil mixture.
- Salt and pepper for taste.
- Add remaining ounce of feta and fresh basil.
- From here, you can serve as a side (4 servings) or as a main meal (2 servings). Enjoy!
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