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Author Notes: This spicy, fragrant dish make s a lovely centerpiece for a lovely brunch, lunch or light supper. Serve with a mild sesame tahini sauce or cooling yogurt cucumber salsa or both. Brimming with the flavors of the Maghreb and Southern Spain and the kiss of Urfa pepper, this is smoky meal is held together not by breadcrumbs, but by flavorful and healthy walnuts! It's a dairy free, kosher meal that's as delicious as it is easy.
—The Weiser Kitchen
- 3 medium zucchini
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 /14 cups medium onion peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 pound (or 5 links) lamb merguez sausage, Neshama brand beef and lamb Moroccan or Tunisian , preferred
- 1 cup cooked white or brown rice, medium grain preferred
- 2 tablespoons dried apricots chopped
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Urfa pepper
- 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup chicken stock, low sodium
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, roughly chopped, optional
- Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and flesh and discard, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge.
- Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Remove the lamb meat from the casing and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up any large pieces, until lamb is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, apricots, walnuts, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then transfer to a mixing bowl to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the egg whites to the cooled sausage and rice filling and mix well. Evenly divide the filling between the zucchini shells and place in a shallow baking dish. Add the stock to the bottom of the pan. Bake uncovered until the zucchini is cooked and the filling is hot, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Garnish with walnuts, if using, and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Walnuts