Lebanese stuffed Zucchini
Lebanese stuffed zucchini is a one of the best Lebanese comfort foods. The spiced ground beef and rice mixture cooked with tomato sauce gives it tons of flavor.
When making stuffed zucchini or ” kousa mahshi”, it’s better to use the pale green zucchini’s. You can find them at farmers’ markets or in Middle Eastern food stores, often sold as ” Lebanese zucchini’s”. You also need a special scraper to hollow out the zucchini and prepare them for stuffing.
- 15 small Lebanese zucchini, washed and drained
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup long-grain rice, washed and drained
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 large fresh tomatoes, blended
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
To get the zucchini's ready:
- Cut off the zucchini stalks
- Slice off the zucchini dried tips at the opposite end without removing too much flesh.
- Carefully hollow out the zucchini from the stalk insert your corer about 3/4 of the way into the zucchini, making sure not to poke the bottoms. Twist the corer and pull out the zucchini flesh. Do this a few times, until you have a generous cavity. (You can save the zucchini flesh for another purpose, such as an omelette.)
- Leave scraped Zucchini's on the side.
To make the stuffing:
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the stuffing ingredients of rice, ground beef, butter, blended tomatoes, allspice, ground cinnamon, ground black pepper and salt until fully combined (I do this by hand).
- Using your hands stuff the zucchini's with the mixture, leaving 2 cm free at the top to allow the filling to expand.
- In a covered pot, organize the stuffed zucchini's next to each other
- Add water ( slightly cover the zucchinis).
- Sprinkle lightly with salt
- Place the pot on the stove and cook on medium heat until the water starts boiling.
- Add tomato paste.
- Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for for 50 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the rice stuffing is fully cooked.
- Transfer to a serving platter and top with tomato sauce.
If you have stuffing mixture left over, you can store in the freezer for future use.