Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zucchini stuffed with lamb and pine nuts

Zucchini stuffed with lamb and pine nuts
Serves 6
2lb (900g) small zucchini
½ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 onion, finely chopped
1¼lb (550g) ground lamb
¾ cup pine nuts
3 ripe tomatoes
30 flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup good-quality chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the tops off the zucchini and, using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the inside of each.
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat.
Cook the garlic, cumin, cloves, and cinnamon for a couple of minutes until
fragrant. Add the onion and cook until soft and pale golden, then add the lamb.
Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated, breaking up and stirring the
lamb around the pan to brown evenly. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix in
the pine nuts. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Cut a cross in the bottom of the tomatoes and, using the tip of a small
sharp knife, remove the core from each one. Blanch in boiling water for
10 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Peel off the skin and discard. Cut the
tomatoes in half, remove the seeds, and cut the flesh into a small dice. Set aside.
Using a small spoon, stuff the zucchini with the lamb mixture, pushing the
filling down into each zucchini so it is plump with stuffing. Heat the
remaining oil, and cook the zucchini, turning, until soft. Cook in batches while
continuing to stuff the remainder of the zucchini.
Mix the diced tomato with the parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
Add the lemon juice and chicken stock. Place the cooked zucchini in a
flameproof dish. Pour the tomato mixture over the top, and cook over medium
heat until the sauce is hot. Serve with rice or bread. This dish works particularly
well with a selection of other mezze dishes, with lots of hot bread to soak up
all the good cooking juices.

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