Kousa (Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini)
A Lebanese dish consisting of zucchini stuffed with beef, rice, and spices that's braised in a flavorful tomato broth and topped with yogurt.
total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
recipe by: Rae
- 4 large zucchini, room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- Cooking Broth:
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3/4 cup jasmine rice (uncooked)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley plus 1 TBSP for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped mint plus 1 tsp for garnish
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp allspice
- Cut the zucchinis in half. Carefully hollow them out leaving an 1/8-inch rim around the zucchini and about 1/2 inch on the bottom (use a dull butter knife or apple corer). Set the hollowed zucchinis to the side.
- In a pot large enough for all the zucchinis to fit, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes, simmering on medium-low. Add the salt, pepper, tomato paste and vegetable broth. Allow to simmer over low heat while you stuff your zucchini.
- Prepare the filling: in a large bowl combine the beef, rice, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, and allspice and stir well.
- Fill each zucchini 3/4 of the way full, be careful not to over stuff because the rice will expand.
- Once all the zucchini are stuffed lay them down over the onions and tomatoes in the pot. Cover with water, turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
- After an hour check and make sure the rice is cooked. If the rice is under-cooked cover the pot and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer. Once the rice is tender turn off the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Serve the zucchini with the tomato sauce and top with yogurt. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 TBSP fresh chopped parsley and 1 tsp chopped mint.