Aside from these stuffed zucchini, I’ve got two more recipes lined up for you before I’m ready to move on to fall produce. I do realize that fall starts today and you’re probably salivating for apples and butternut squash already. But let’s hold on to summer for a little longer shall we? Don’t get me wrong. The changing leaves, the comforting soups, the crisp air: I love it all. But I didn’t take vacation this summer (except a short camping trip), so I guess the season sneaked out while my mind was occupied by other things. It’s no secret that I love stuffed vegetables, and these zucchini stuffed with Middle Eastern flavours came together naturally last month. They can easily be turned vegan and gluten-free so make sure to scroll down and read the notes if that’s what you’re after.
Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini
- 4 medium zucchini
- ⅔ cup medium grain bulgur (use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
- 1 ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted and divided
- ½ small red onion, chopped
- ½ sweet pepper, chopped
- Large handful cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup currants or raisins
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sumac
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Plain yogurt (read note for vegan version)
- Cilantro leaves
- Reserved toasted almonds (see above)
Preheat oven at 425F. Arrange the zucchini on a large baking dish. Brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Finalize the stuffing. In the mixing bowl with the bulgur and zucchini flesh, add all remaining ingredients (1/2 cup toasted almonds, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, currants, cilantro, spices, lemon juice and olive oil). Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Stuff each zucchini with a generous amount of the bulgur salad.
Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the zucchini flesh is tender but still holds its shape.
Serve topped with plain yogurt, toasted almonds and cilantro leaves. For a vegan version, read note below.
- For a vegan version, omit the yogurt and make a quick sauce: 3 parts tahini, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part water, pinch salt
- This dish can easily be made gluten-free by using quinoa instead of bulgur
- You can absolutely roast the zucchini separately and stuff them once they are out of the oven. Note, however, that the flavours of the bulgur salad will be sharper, more garlicky
- The stuffing is delicious on its own and you can eat it as a salad (though refer to point #3)