This stuffed zucchini recipe is not something that you can make quickly. It will take some time but I promise you it is well worth it. The good news is you can freeze these before cooking them so you can make a couple recipes at a time to have whenever you want them.
You will need to use small zucchini for this stuffed zucchini recipe. The smaller the better because they will be more tender and they will also be easier to cook. These need to be steamed standing in a pot around and on top of a beefy soup bone.
A few recommendations:
1. When you are scooping out the flesh from the zucchini make sure to use a small, sharp serrated knife or a thin vegetable scooper. This will make things easier for you. You need to try and scoop out as much of the flesh as possible without breaking the walls or the bottom of the zucchini. Don’t leave a bunch of pulp at the bottom. Your goal is to have an empty shell that is strong enough to be filled.
2. When you fill the zucchini make sure you press it down so that it is compacted in the shell. The more compacted it is the less chance of you losing it. If your finger is not long enough to push in the filling use a spoon handle. Whatever you do don’t rip the sides or bottom.
3. When you are cooking the zucchini make sure that they steam. Keep your heat at a low setting and don’t let the liquid start boiling furiously. This will keep the filling in the zucchini.
This is how to make this delicious and wonderful stuffed zucchini recipe:
FOR THE FILLING:
1 TBS olive oil
1 small white onion – finely chopped
3 garlic cloves – minced
1 small chili pepper (optional) – seeded, membrane removed and finely chopped
2 TBS of finely chopped red bell pepper
2 TBS chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup raw, washed white rice
2 medium tomatoes – peeled and chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion, garlic, chili pepper if using, and the bell pepper. Mix it and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the parsley and mix. Add the curry powder and the oregano and mix. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes and turn off the heat.
Add the rice, the tomatoes and the beef. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.
PREP THE ZUCCHINI:
24 small zucchini
Wash and dry the zucchini and cut off the tip on the thin part. Very carefully start scooping out the flesh. You can use a sharp steak knife and turn the zucchini as you go. Leave the walls thick enough not to break when you fill them and make sure you dig out all the flesh from the bottom as well. Do not pierce the bottom. You can use the flesh in a salad or in a soup later.
Start stuffing the hollow zucchini by compacting the stuffing with your fingers. Fill it all the way to the bottom without breaking the walls.
COOK THE STUFFED ZUCCHINI:
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 large beef short rib or a beefy soup bone
8 garlic cloves – peeled
Plain yogurt for serving (optional)
Grate the tomatoes into a bowl and discard the peels. Mix in the chicken stock and set aside.
Place the beef bone in the middle of your pot and tightly arrange the stuffed zucchini around it. You can place some on top of the beef as well. You want to have a tight fit so that the zucchini does not start floating once the liquid starts simmering.
Arrange the garlic cloves between the zucchinis and slowly pour in the liquid. Bring the pot to a boil, cover and reduce to the lowest you can on your stove. Steam the zucchini for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the rice and zucchini are fully cooked.
Serve with some plain yogurt is you would like and enjoy.