A Lebanese-American , Rima Fakih, won the Miss USA 2010 title.
I found tiny zucchini at the Palestinian grocer (resembling the Lebanese ones in looks if not taste) and bought them on an impulse; then I realized I had no desire to do the usual and traditional coring and stuffing!
For the traditional recipes, click here.
This is my version of a gratin that my mother made a couple of times, which is made up of couscous, eggs, zucchini, onion and spices. Maybe some cheese too, I don’t remember.
If you have a mandoline and a charlotte dish (one of those 6 inches tall metal pans), then you can make something that looks fancy but really is very simple. I used an 8 inch cake pan and a knife to cut the zucchini.
INGREDIENTS: 6 servings
- 2 pounds of zucchini
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 3 Large eggs
- 1 cup of couscous
- 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped fine, or 2 Tablespoons of dried mint, crumbled to a powder
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt
- 1 small vegetable bouillon cube
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan
- olive oil or clarified butter, as needed
- spices: 1 teaspoon of curry powder or a pinch of turmeric, ground cumin, allspice, nutmeg, white pepper, a pinch of paprika or Aleppo pepper
- Wash the zucchini and steam them for 10 minutes until tender.
- Fry the onion in oil or butter until translucent and golden; add the couscous, spices, water (follow package directions, usually double the volume of couscous), bouillon cube, and a bit of oil or butter. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes (or follow package directions) then fluff it with a fork, tasting for seasoning and adding more butter or oil if it needs it. Set it aside.
- Slice the zucchini when it is cool enough to handle and line the pan of your choice with the slices, going all around and in the middle, until the entire pan is covered, filling any gaps with small pieces of zucchini.
- Dice the rest of the zucchini as small as possible. Add it to the couscous and mix well. Add the 3 eggs to the mixture, the parsley and the parmesan cheese.
- Place in a 350F oven (180C) for about 20 to 30 minutes. Cover the pan with foil. When it is done, a knife inserted in the cake should come out clean.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
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