Zucchini stuffed with ground beef and rice is a basic recipe with variations across a range of cuisines, from Italian to Greek to Egyptian. According to Magda Mehdawny, Egyptian cookbook author, the dish is probably Persian in origin. It is similar to a wealth of other recipes that involve stuffing vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. These stuffed vegetables are typically served either hot, cold or at room temperature.
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Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut them in half lengthwise.
Boil water in a medium-size saucepan.
Blanch the zucchini halves by dropping them in the boiling water and letting them cook for about 30 seconds. The purpose of this step is to soften them a bit, not to fully cook them.
Drain the zucchini. Scoop out must of the pulp with a teaspoon when they're cool enough to handle. Work carefully, taking care to remove as much of the zucchini flesh as possible without tearing the skin.
Heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil in a medium-size skillet. Add 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook on medium-high heat for five to 10 minutes, until well browned.
Mix the cooked beef with 1 cup cooked white or brown rice, 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes and another 1/2 tsp. salt.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stuff a few tablespoons of the beef and rice mixture into each zucchini shell.
Arrange the stuffed zucchini halves on a baking sheet and spoon tomato juice over them.
Bake for about 30 minutes.