Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stuffed Lebanese Zucchini





With Middle Eastern foods, no one goes by recipes, so each plate comes out a special way.  For that reason, I can claim this particular dish as my own.  I eyeball the ingredients and just go by flavor, but for this post I will try to come up with amounts.

What you'll need:

About 7 or 8 small lebanese zucchinis (I've seen them in grocery stores in California, but here in Washington I have only find them at farmer's markets in the summer)

Stuffing:

1/3 of a package of ground meat (I used goat this time, but normally I would use lamb)
1 cup uncooked rice (I use brown rice, but it is more difficult to get cooked)
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 of an onion very finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
A generous amount of salt
Pepper

Broth:

Fill pot until it just covers the zucchinis
Two tablespoons of tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Lemon juice from the other half
Salt 
Pepper

Directions:

Wash the zucchini, lightly scrubbing the outside skins.  Cut off the tips that would connect to the vine, NOT the backsides.  With a peeler clean out the insides.  Set aside.


In a medium bowl mix all the stuffing ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hand.




Stuff the zucchini sticking your fingers deep in to eliminate pockets of air.  Do not fill all the way (leave room for the rice to increase in size as it cooks).  This will keep the stuffing from coming out.


Put zucchinis in a pot, cover with water and other ingredients listed.  Cook for about an hour and fifteen minutes on a medium/low heat (I put it in #3).  A lighter simmer is more delicate on the zucchini, so the filling wont come gushing out.

Stuffed zucchini is really tasty with some Kefir poured on top.  Careful, these stay hot inside for a bit, so don't burn your mouth.

Bon Appétit!

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