Persian rice stuffed zucchini:


6 medium zucchini (6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup jasmine rice
6 cardamom pods
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups water
8 dried apricots, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind $
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice $
1/3 cup chopped shelled dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios $
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup) $
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Chop pulp. Place the zucchini halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until tender.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add rice, cardamom, and cinnamon; cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is opaque, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, red pepper, and 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in apricots. Cover and let stand 10 minutes; discard cardamom and cinnamon. Spoon rice mixture into a large bowl; cool slightly.

4. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, orange rind, and juices in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add dressing, reserved zucchini pulp, pistachios, and remaining ingredients to rice mixture; toss well to combine.

5. Preheat broiler to high.

6. Spoon about 1/4 cup rice mixture into each zucchini shell. Broil 6 minutes or until lightly browned.


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