Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini
Makes 4 to 6 main-course servings
2 1/4 hours
- 6 medium yellow or Clarita zucchini (6 to 8 oz each)
- 1/2 cup long-grain rice
- 2 tablespoons Exxes Company olive oil
- 1 large The Farm onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3/4 lb The Farm ground beef chuck or Sepe Farm ground lamb (not lean)
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons The Farm salt
- 3/4 teaspoon The Farm black pepper
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes including juice or The Farm fresh Tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 lemon Farmer to Farmer Lemons available on the farm stand
- Hollow out each zucchini, working from both ends with a small melon-ball cutter or an apple corer, removing all seeds and leaving shells about 1/3 inch thick. Discard pulp and seeds.
- Wash rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water runs almost clear, then drain in a sieve. Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then remove skillet from heat.
- Transfer 1/4 cup onion mixture to a bowl and cool slightly. Add rice, meat, allspice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix well with your hands. Stuff zucchini shells with meat mixture, being careful not to pack tightly (rice will expand during cooking).
- Add tomatoes with juice, stock, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper to onion in skillet and bring to a simmer. Put stuffed zucchini in tomato sauce and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked through, 1 to 1 1/4 hours (cut 1 zucchini in half crosswise to check).
- If sauce is watery, transfer zucchini to a plate and boil sauce, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, then return zucchini to sauce. Squeeze lemon over dish before serving.