Serious Eats: Recipes

Zucchini Stuffed with Israeli Couscous

Note: Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by on Wednesdays to share a delicious recipe and expand our vegetarian repertoire.

If you haven't had Israeli couscous before, you are in for a treat. Known as P'titim in Israel, it was invented during the early years of that state as a quick and inexpensive rice substitute for recent immigrants, and has remained popular ever since.

The balls of pasta are much larger than traditional Middle Eastern couscous, with an appealing, slightly chewy texture. They're traditionally toasted in oil first before adding just enough liquid to cook by the absorption method. (Trader Joe's carries a very respectable version.)

Here's an easy way to use Israeli couscous in a stuffed zucchini that will be a hit with the whole family.

The zucchini are hollowed out and the flesh fried along with leeks. This is combined with the couscous and baked in the zucchini shells with a simple, lemony tomato sauce. A bit of feta, parsley, and breadcrumbs for garnish and you've got a delicious vegetarian main course, or serve half-portions as a side dish.

Other additions that would be delicious: fresh mint or dill, toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds, raisins, Aleppo pepper, a pinch of saffron.

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