Fun with Zucchini, Part Two: Heart of the Zucchini (Lib el Koussa)

Today I’m gonna teach you what do you with the zucchini insides that you put aside in yesterday’s post.

During the World War II, people in the Lebanese countryside did their best to use everything they had when cooking and leave nothing to waste because they were running out of ingredients to make food. This is the reason why there is a large variety of vegetarian plates in Lebanese cuisine. When people used to make stuffed zucchini, they kept the removed core and found a way to cook it and make it delicious.

There are various recipes for the zucchini innards, the one I made today among them. This is a favorite of mine and I’m sure it will be one of yours when you try it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • The inner part of the zucchini (about one cup and a half)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of dried mint

Preparation:

  • Chop the onion and the cloves of garlic finely
  • In a small saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion with garlic until slightly golden
  • Add the zucchini and fry with the onion and garlic for 2 minutes
  • Cover the casserole and on a very low heat cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add now the grenadine molasses and stir well for few seconds
  • Put the fire off and sprinkle the dried mint
  • Put it on a plate, serve with bread (Lebanese pita is recommended) and enjoy

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Mashed Potato Baked with Chicory

This is another recipe that is Lent-friendly, as it contains chicory and no meats or fats. I got this recipe from a friend who grew up in a distant village in mountains of South Lebanon. During the 40-day fast, her mother would like to get creative and try to make something new in her cuisine to make the fast more playful. I took the recipe from her and tried it, and it turned out to be delicious!

If you enjoy the taste of chicory, take at a look at this recipe I posted a few days ago 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 1/2 kg chicory
  • 2 onions chopped into long strips
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • salt, seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes in salted water, when they’re cooked mash them properly
  • Boil the chicory in another pot with salted water, drain them after
  • heat the olive oil and fry the strips of onion, then add the boiled chicory and season with salt, seven spices and sumac
  • preheat the oven to 200C
  • Grease an oven tray with cooking oil and place one layer of mashed potatoes
  • Cover the potatoes with the chicory/onion mixture
  • Place the remaining mashed potatoes over the chicory to cover it all
  • Sprinkle a bit of olive oil on the top, and place the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the top becomes slightly golden

Note: this dish is usually served warm, but I secretly enjoy it cold as leftovers at night. Try it and let me know if you do too 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Lebanese moussaka

Moussaka means “cold” in English. However, it is also well known in Greece using different ingredients, where it is also served hot as a main dish. Here I show my version of the Lebanese Moussaka as a side dish to accompany meats or chicken, or whatever you think is appropriate for your meal.

lebanese moussaka

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of large aubergine (eggplant)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 red tomatoes
  • 1 cup of soaked chick peas
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of frying oil
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Preparation:

  • Peel the aubergine and cut into big and thick pieces
  • Fry the aubergine in deep frying oil until light brown and then drain
  • chop the onion finely and fry it in a pot with the olive oil
  • peel the garlic and chop them and add to the onion
  • when the onion and garlic starts to become golden, add the finely chopped tomatoes and cover the pot, let all the ingredients simmer on very low heat
  • in the mean time peel the chick peas and add them in the pot over the onion tomatoes mixture
  • add the aubergine in the pot, mix the tomato paste with one cup of water with salt and pepper and put it in the pot
  • stir very slowly and be careful not to squeeze the aubergine
  • cover the pot again and let it boil on a very low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT

SAHTEIN!