Photo: Johnny Autry
Hands-on Time
34 Mins
Total Time
56 Mins
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.

Ratings & Reviews

Ended in the Trash :( Not for Beginners

June 20, 2017
I'll start by admitting that I'm not a cook.  I'm just trying new things.  In the hands of someone more competent I'm sure it would've been okay.  But... to begin with, some of these ingredients were a bit absurd.  Pistachios were hard to find at Lowe's foods and the only container was twice the price of all other types of nuts.  I gave up on goat cheese.  Who has time to find and chop fresh dill weed and parsley??  What in the world are cardamom pods?  I just got the spice shaker versions. Then after two hours of prep, it came out of the oven and... the rice was crunchy.  It's totally my fault for not tasting it before I combined it with the other ingredients and put in the zucchini, but I followed all the timing directions to the letter so I was kind of mad.  No amount of microwaving helped, and I tried putting it back in the pan to boil some more, but the apricots got bloated and terrible.  :(  Ended up wasting the $50 spent on these ingredients and didn't even get to eat dinner tonight. 

elizabeth26's Review

May 15, 2012

girena's Review

July 17, 2013

LDombeck's Review

August 17, 2012
These were pretty good. I had a few changes, so it might have been amazing as written. I only had black cardamom and I think it gives a totally different flavor than green. Also, I'm dairy-free, so no cheese. And I also used brown jasmine rice and one less tablespoon of oil. That said, I still really liked it. So did my husband. Only one kid ate it though, granted the other one never eats what I make ;) It did take a bit of time to make (since I had to adjust cooking time for brown rice), but I may make again if I get a great deal on Zucchini at the farmers' market.

bjane1's Review

September 30, 2013
Devine! My husband is not a fan of zucchini but he really liked this. The flavors are very unique with a bit of hot spice from the red pepper. Used brown rice, 1/8 tsp cardamon powder, 1 1/2 Tbsp dried dill, no oil, very small amount feta, and broiled for closer to 15 minutes. Zucchini was done perfectly, not mushy. This did take some work, but hubbie made the green bean/mushroom side dish so that helped. We are pretty much vegan and loved this!

Kate09's Review

July 10, 2012
Don't make this. I eat 90% vegetarian and love vegetarian food. This is not good.

KellyDiff's Review

June 17, 2012
Very good. Used fresh apricot and sunflower seeds (nut allergy), but otherwise followed recipe. Will definitely make again. Pretty labor intensive though - lots of steps!

CutieCookie's Review

November 23, 2012

Salamandrina's Review

May 22, 2012
This was fantastic. I will admit to swapping the goat cheese for a similarly sharp cheddar, based on familial preference, but it was filling, and just a fantastic blend of sweet and savory. Will absolutely make again.

Dianeindenver's Review

June 20, 2012
Loved it...wonderful flavors. Does take time but worth it.