This is a perfect summer dish, good for using up that CSA zucchini and much easier than my other favorite stuffed zucchini.
Stuffed Zucchini With Lamb and Rice
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1/2 cup short-grain rice, such as arborio, soaked for 20 minutes and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound tomatoes sliced 1/4″ thick
- Labne or Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Reserve 1 cup of the zucchini flesh and finely chop it.
In a large bowl, mix the drained rice with the turmeric. Add the chopped zucchini, lamb, butter, cumin seeds, ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Using your hands, gently knead the mixture until blended. Add 1/4 cup of the water and knead until evenly moistened. Stuff the zucchini halves with the lamb filling.
Line the bottom of a large, deep skillet with the tomato slices and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the stuffed zucchini halves on top of the tomatoes in a single layer. Add the remaining 1 cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat for about 25 minutes, until the lamb is cooked through and the rice is tender.
Transfer the zucchini to a platter. Cook the tomatoes over high heat, mashing them, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Spoon the tomatoes over the zucchini, top with a spoonful of labne or Greek yogurt, serve and enjoy!
This was a winner! Frank said “you can make this any time” (his highest compliment) so I made it again about a week later.
You’ll have lots of zucchini “guts” so when you’re putting the 1 cup aside choose the parts with the least amount of seeds.
I’ve done it with both aborio and bomba rice, but haven’t really noticed a difference in flavor, so I’m guessing that almost any rice would work. I was thinking of subbing some chicken broth for the water the last time I made it, but totally forgot.