Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
Kusa - AKA Lebanese Squash / Zucchini / Courgette, Cucuzza. This is a recipe for a quick & simple version of the traditional stuffed Kusa dish.
- 8 zucchini, ends trimmed (each approx. 6'' long, about 3 pounds)
- 12 ounces ground lamb
- 3⁄4 cup instant brown rice
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons dried marjoram, divided
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons dried mint, divided
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice, divided
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce, preferably chunky
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Hollow out each zucchini using a zucchini / apple corer or small, flexible paring knife, leaving 1/8-inch-thick walls.
- Combine lamb, rice, 1 1/4 teaspoons marjoram, 3/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon mint, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Loosely stuff each zucchini with the lamb mixture. Place the stuffed zucchini in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- Combine tomato sauce with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 teaspoon mint and 1/8 teaspoon allspice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then pour over the zucchini. Cover the pan with foil.
- Bake, turning the zucchini halfway through cooking, until the zucchini and rice are tender and the filling reaches 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve the zucchini with the sauce.
This was a pretty good recipe. I didn't have mint so I left it out. I think it could have used a bit more salt, but I used crushed tomatoes instead of tomato sauce so that may be why. I recommend visiting a Middle eastern market and picking up a zucchini corer.
This is easy and wonderful! Even my squash hating husband thought it was worth doing again. And I will!
I did use kusa squash - not zucchini - it is a bit thicker, and I think made for easier/better stuffing, but if I was going to do zucchini, I think I might cut them in half and do more of an "open-face" preparation.
Leftovers reheat perfectly as well, which is always good news.