This unique way of filling requires a little practice, but after several attempts – the filling process becomes easier and faster. The zucchini can be fried before cooking if you don’t peel them.
Ingredients for Syrian Stuffed Zucchini
- 10-12 zucchinis medium sized
For the filling:
- ½ cup rice medium or short-grain (Baldo, Calrose or Bomba for example)
- 300 grams ground beef
- 1 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1 onion small, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Baharat spice mix
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- vegetable oil for frying
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 2 tomatoes peeled and finely chopped
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
Prepare the Zucchini for stuffing:
1. Take out as much of the zucchini core as you can with a small knife or apple corer. Peel the zucchinis (optional). Chop the cores and peels or process them in 4-5 pulses in a food processor.
Prepare the Filling:
2. Mix all the filling ingredients with the chopped zucchini cores and peels. Fill the zucchinis.
3. Pour oil for frying and fry the stuffed zucchini if not peeled 5-6 minutes, until golden.
Prepare the Sauce and Cook:
4. Pour a glass of water and lemon juice into a large oven-proof sauce pan. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
5. Arrange the fried zucchini in the pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat and cook for 30 minutes.
Bake and Serve:
6. Uncover and place the sauce pan in the oven, heated to 230F degrees (110C). Bake for an additional hour - and up to two hours. Serve with rice.