CITRUS FLAVORED SUMMER SQUASH WITH LAMB AND RICE STUFFING; STUFFED ZUCCHINI, LEBANON
Zucchini – 8 medium size
Long Grain Rice – 3/4 cup
Ground Lamb – 250 grams
Onion – 1 small size
Garlic – 3 cloves
Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons
Lemon Juice – 2 lemons
Ground Allspice – 1 teaspoon
Ground Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon
Parsley – few springs
Water – 2 cups
Sea Salt – 3 teaspoons
Stuffed Zucchini – Zucchini, also knowns as courgette, is a summer squash native to Central and South America. The green zucchini was developed in the 19th century in northern Italy, and introduced to North America in the 20th century. Zucchini is harvested immature, preserving its firm texture and bright colored skin. Across the Meditarrenean region, zucchini is loved for its nutritional value, subtle taste and culinary versatility. Zucchini may be eaten raw, thinly sliced with a lemon sauce or sautéed, fried, baked or boiled. Kousa Mahshi or Stuffed Zucchini is a Middle Eastern dish, traditionally stuffed with rice, meat and spices, and cooked in a tomato or lemon sauce. Our recipe recreates the Lebanese style Stuffed Zucchini that is filled with ground lamb, rice and spices, then cooked with a lemon sauce. We use organic ground lamb with 10-15 % fat content and medium sized organic green zucchini. Our Stuffed Zucchini is served with the lemon sauce on top, accentuating the wonderful citrus flavors.
Step 1 – Cut off the zucchini stem, then use the vegetable corer to remove the zucchini’s core, paying attention not to cut through its skin. Note: Reserve the zucchini cores to make another dish, such as scrambled eggs with zucchini.
Step 2 – Finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley. Prepare the stuffing by mixing uncooked rice, lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil, allspice, black pepper and salt.
Step 3 – Put the stuffing inside the hollow zucchini. Leave around ½ inch at the edge without the stuffing as the rice will expand when cooked.
Step 4 – In a large oval pot, place the stuffed zucchini, then pour 2 cups of water and freshly squeezed lemon juice from 2 lemons. Cook the zucchini on the stove for 1 hour on medium heat.
Step 5 – Cut the stuffed zucchini crosswise and plate the dish with 2 tablespoons of the lemon sauce, formed in the pot during the cooking process.