Lebanese Stuffed Zucchinis (Koussa)


(Serves 4)

  • 300g beef mince

  • ¼ cup (50g) basmati rice

  • 2 teaspoons dried mint, plus extra for garnishing

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 12 (1.8kg) grey (Lebanese) zucchinis

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

  • ½ cup (50g) tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

  • Middle Eastern Flatbread, to serve


STEP 1.    

Place the mince, rice, mint and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

STEP 2.    

Slice the tops off the zucchinis. Using a zucchini corer, insert into the length of the zucchini and gently turn to remove the flesh, leaving a thin outer layer. Reserve the flesh.

STEP 3.    

Loosely stuff the zucchini with the mince mixture, leaving 1cm of space from the top for the rice to expand during cooking.

STEP 4.    

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and reserved zucchini flesh. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until golden and softened. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.

STEP 5.    

Nestle the stuffed zucchinis in the sauce. Add 2 cups of water and the pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and pepper.

STEP 6.    

Place a heavy plate over the zucchinis to keep them submerged in the sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes or until the zucchinis are tender when pierced with a fork and the stuffing is cooked through. Remove from heat.

STEP 7.    

Garnish with extra dried mint and serve with Middle Eastern flatbread on the side.


TIP: Grey (Lebanese) zucchinis can be found in fruit shops and Middle Eastern supermarkets.