In Morocco stuffed anything is not as common as it is in other parts of the Middle East. This dish is a variation of a recipe found in Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco by Paula Wolfert. I was iffy on this becuase my husband doesn’t really like rice or vegetables that much but I thought it sounded excellent. Turns out he really enjoyed it and has already asked me to make it again. One variation is that I drizzled some juice from preserved lemons on top before baking – it added a different flavor. I also want to try adding some slivered almonds in with the mixture or on top at the end.
Stuffed Moroccan Vegetables
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion grated
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chopped parsley
½ cup rice
1 ½ cups water
1-2 tsp olive oil
Any combination of the following:
Cut vegetables lengthwise and clear out seeds in the middle, there should be about 1/4” of flesh remaining on the vegetable. You can choose to leave them long or cut them down to smaller sizes. Place into a salt bath (do not do this to the tomatoes if using them).
In a pot add the oil and grated onions, allow to simmer a few minutes before adding the rice and then ground beef. Add all of the spices. Add the water. This should take about 20 minutes to cook through. You may need to add a little more water. Once rice and meat are cooked through set aside and allow to cool down a bit.
Arrange vegetables in a baking dish. Fill the cavity of each vegetable with the beef/rice mixture. Continue until all vegetables are full. With the remaining mixture place on top of the vegetables or around them.
Cover the baking dish with tinfoil and poke 2 holes in the tinfoil (alternately you could tent the tinfoil). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and increase the heat to 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. The vegetables should not be mushy but should be soft. Serve Hot.
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