Photo: Johnny Autry
Hands-on Time
34 Mins
Total Time
56 Mins
Yield
Serves 6 (serving size: 2 stuffed zucchini halves)

A run under the broiler creates a crunchy crust, an essential for Persian rice dishes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Chop pulp. Place the zucchini halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until tender.

Step 3

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add rice, cardamom, and cinnamon; cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is opaque, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, red pepper, and 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in apricots. Cover and let stand 10 minutes; discard cardamom and cinnamon. Spoon rice mixture into a large bowl; cool slightly.

Step 4

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, orange rind, and juices in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add dressing, reserved zucchini pulp, pistachios, and remaining ingredients to rice mixture; toss well to combine.

Step 5

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 6

Spoon about 1/4 cup rice mixture into each zucchini shell. Broil 6 minutes or until lightly browned.

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