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Garlicky courgettes & carrots in yogurt, with gherkins, toasted walnuts and pul biber oil

Garlicky courgettes & carrots in yogurt, with gherkins, toasted walnuts and pul biber oil

Guest chef Özlam Warren's dish is great for sharing, with grills or as part of a meze spread.

5 out of 5 stars(3) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseBuffet
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook15 mins
  • Total time40 mins

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  • 250g Greek strained yogurt
  • 2 medium slim courgettes, trimmed and cleaned
  • tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 clove/s garlic, finely chopped
  • 40g walnuts, chopped into bitesized pieces
  • 30g cocktail gherkins, drained and chopped into bitesized pieces
  • ½ x 20g pack dill, hard stalks removed, the rest finely chopped
  • Flatbread wedges, to serve (a 200g pack of 2 The Levantine Table Handstretched Flatbreads, warmed, works well)

For the pul biber oil

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp Cooks' Ingredients Peppery Pul Biber


  1. Take the yogurt out of the fridge. If making ahead, keep chilled (see tip). Slice the courgettes into 1cm circles and place on a large baking tray in 1 layer. Sprinkle with the sea salt flakes (they help to extract the moisture), then leave for 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, gently squeeze out the moisture from the grated carrots using a clean tea towel or kitchen paper. Place them in a bowl. Gently pat the courgettes dry with kitchen paper. These are important steps, as otherwise the moisture would prevent the courgettes from caramelising and make the meze soggy.

  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, wide, nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Place ½ the courgettes in 1 layer and sauté for 2-3 minutes on each side, until caramelised around the edges with golden-light brown patches. Repeat with the second batch. The courgettes should retain their shape and have bite. Season. Using a slotted spoon, place the courgettes on a large plate, keeping any leftover oil in the pan.

  4. Pour the remaining oil into the pan and stir in the garlic. Sauté over a medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots, combine well and cook on medium-to-high for 2 minutes. Season. The carrots will soften but still have a crunch. Place in a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  5. Toast the walnuts in a small frying or sauté pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then tip into the carrots, reserving 1 tbsp for garnish. When cool enough to handle, wipe the pan with a paper towel and set aside to prepare the pul biber oil later.

  6. Add the gherkins to the bowl of garlicky carrots and combine. Gently spoon in the courgettes and mix well. Stir in the yogurt and most of the dill, and gently combine everything. Check the seasoning, adding more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste.

  7. Spread the meze over a large serving plate. For the pul biber oil, pour the 2 tbsp oil into the small frying pan and stir in the pul biber. Stir and gently infuse over a medium heat for 35-40 seconds, then turn the heat off. Garnish the meze with the reserved toasted walnuts and dill and drizzle the warm pul biber oil all over. Serve immediately, with the flatbreads on the side. Afiyet olsun, as we say in Turkey, when serving food – it means may it bring you health and happiness.

Cook’s tip

This can be prepared a day ahead, kept covered in the fridge. Make with chilled yogurt, then bring the meze to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. Make and drizzle warm pul biberinfused oil just before serving. You can use other nuts such as pistachios and hazelnuts instead of walnuts, as well as seeds.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,968kJ/ 473kcals



Saturated Fat












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