Zucchini Stuffed With Chickpeas and Israeli Couscous
Stuffed zucchini shells are filled to overflowing with a sauteed mixture of ginger-and-jalapeno-laced chickpeas, pearl-size pasta called Israeli couscous, and chopped zucchini flesh; a squeeze of lemon is the finishing touch.
- Servings: 6
Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2006
- 6 small zucchini (6 to 7 inches long; 6 ounces each), halved lengthwise
- Coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, very thinly sliced into rings
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 medium fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of ground, cinnamon
- Pinch of saffron
- 3/4 cup cooked dried or canned chickpeas
- 3/4 cup Israeli couscous
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for serving
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour 1 cup water onto sheet; set aside. Using a small spoon, scoop out pulp from center of each zucchini, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Transfer pulp to a kitchen towel, and squeeze out excess liquid. Coarsely chop pulp; set aside. Sprinkle zucchini shells with 1 teaspoon salt. Place shells, cut side down, on paper towels to drain.
Melt butter with oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, ginger, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and saffron. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini pulp and chickpeas; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Add couscous, and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has absorbed and couscous is tender, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and cilantro. Season with salt, if desired.
Wipe zucchini shells to remove any liquid. Lightly season with salt. Mound about 1/4 cup filling into each zucchini shell. Transfer to prepared rack. Cover with foil, and bake until zucchini are tender and filling is heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with sprigs of parsley and cilantro, and lemon wedges.