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Grilled Zucchini with Cilantro Buttermilk, Queso Fresco, and Pine Nuts

Photographed by Benjamin Wheatley

Grilled Zucchini with Cilantro Buttermilk, Queso Fresco, and Pine Nuts

Whitney Otawka
Serve as a vegetable side or use as a main course—this zucchini would make an excellent filling for a taco.
Servings 4



  • Yields about 1 cup
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup full-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  • 3 medium zucchinis cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
  • 4 tablespoons toasted and crushed pine nuts
  • Pea tendrils for garnish


  • ►CILANTRO BUTTERMILK: Place cilantro and buttermilk in a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the sour cream and salt. Any leftover cilantro buttermilk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • ►TO GRILL: Preheat grill to medium-high heat
  • ►Toss zucchini halves with the olive oil, salt, cumin, and coriander. Place zucchini cut side down on grill grates and grill until charred, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip zucchini over and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before cutting into bite size pieces.
  • ►To serve, spoon a generous amount of cilantro buttermilk onto a serving platter. Arrange the zucchini on the platter and top with queso fresco, pine nuts, and pea tendrils.

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