Kousa (Squash Stuffed with Lamb and Rice)

INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4

  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
  • 4 small zucchini squash (7″–8″ long)
  • ¾ pound very lean ground lamb
  • ½ cup rice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  1. Prepare tomato sauce first: Combine tomatoes, onion, water, salt, pepper, and fresh mint in a large pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

  2. Scrub squash and dry with paper towels. Remove stem ends of each squash and carefully core center, leaving about ¼″ of shell.

  3. Make stuffing: thoroughly mix ground lamb, rice, pine nuts, salt, allspice, and pepper.

  4. Spoon stuffing into each squash, tapping bottom end of squash to get stuffing down. Fill each squash to top; stuffing should be loosely packed to allow rice to expand while cooking.

  5. Place squash in tomato sauce, lying them on their sides. Bring sauce to a slow boil; cover and cook over low heat for 45–60 minutes, or until squash is tender and rice has cooked. Serve squash with tomato sauce spooned over top.

PER SERVING: Calories: 430 | Protein: 27g | Carbohydrates: 36g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 82mg Sodium: 692mg | Fiber: 5g | PCF Ratio: 25-33-42 | Exchange Approx.: 3 Lean Meats, 1 Starch, 3 Vegetables, 3 Fats

Summer Harvest

Kousa (stuffed squash) is a traditional Lebanese dish that uses a pale green summer squash very similar to zucchini. This squash is not always easy to find, but zucchini is very abundant and works quite well. If you have a large garden crop of zucchini: Pick them small, hollow out the squash, blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, then freeze. You'll have squash ready to stuff all year long.

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