Persian Rice-Stuffed Zucchini with Pistachios and Dill

Photo: Johnny Autry

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

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 2 stuffed zucchini halves)
Total:
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Recipe Time

Hands On: 34 Minutes
Total: 56 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 265
  • Fat: 12.7g
  • Saturated fat: 2.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 7.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.9g
  • Protein: 9.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 31.6g
  • Fiber: 5.6g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Iron: 2.2mg
  • Sodium: 389mg
  • Calcium: 81mg

Ingredients

  • 6 medium zucchini (6 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 8 dried apricots, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped shelled dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 5. Preheat broiler to high.
  6. 6. Spoon about 1/4 cup rice mixture into each zucchini shell. Broil 6 minutes or until lightly browned.
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