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Persian Stuffed Zucchini

Persian Stuffed Zucchini

I use ground lamb to stay in the Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern theme, but you can use ground beef, ground turkey, or even no meat at all if you are a vegetarian. Please note that the Prep time is hands-on time only. Allow time for the rice to soak.

Ingredients: 1½ cups water,½ teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed,6 ounces basmati rice,1 ½ tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread,1 tablespoon oil,½ pound ground lamb (or beef),1 yellow onion, finely minced,1 turnip, diced,Black pepper, to taste,½ cup vegetable or chicken stock,5 dried apricots, diced,1 tablespoon golden raisins,1 tablespoon minced cilantro,4 zucchini (Warda uses globe zucchini)

Instructions: Place the water and ½ teaspoon salt in a pan and pour in the rice. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. This step is crucial.,After soaking, bring the water and rice to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Add the buttery spread to the rice. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and steam over a very low heat for about 30 minutes.,While the rice is steaming, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the lamb and sauté quickly just to give it a nice color. Add the onion and turnip, and season with salt and black pepper. Pour in the stock, cover, and let it simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 15 minutes.,Uncover the pan, add the apricots and raisins, and let the liquid reduce. Sprinkle some cilantro on top of the meat mixture, stir in the prepared rice.,Preheat your oven to 400°F.,Cut the top or ends off the zucchini. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the zucchini. Season the zucchini with salt and black pepper and set on a greased baking pan.,Spoon the rice and meat mixture into the zucchini, and place the top on each, if using globe zucchini.,Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender when poked with a toothpick.

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