Kolokithakia Yemista

My dear friend, Amy McWilliam, sent me this recipe yesterday. It is for Greek-style stuffed zucchini. Now I have been talking a lot lately about the abundance of summer squash this time of year. If you are tired of zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, zucchini ice cream and whatever other dishes you have tried using zucchini and other summer squash you might want to give this one a try.The recipe uses quite a few medium sized zucchini.

I have been gifted with some rather large zucchini. You know the ones I am talking about. The kind that family member/neighbor/ friend leaves by the door without saying a word. The kind of zucchini that could probably be a weapon if you needed it to be, not that I am advocating violence.  They are trickier to use. Generally speaking the seed cavity is mature and has to be scooped out and discarded. The skin my also be to tough to use. If you can’t pierce the skin of a summer squash easily with your fingernail you should peel it. These might just work for Amy’s recipe- with some adjustments. I am going to split the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. I’ll leave the skin on to provide support although not eat the skin. I’ll prepare the dish with the zucchini used more like boats with the stuffing piled on top rather than stuffed inside. Hopefully the guests at dinner tonight will like them. For now- it’s off to prep the zucchini. Here is the recipe Amy sent me. I hope you enjoy it. Oh and before you ask I am not sure what Syrian Spice is exactly. I may use my Ethiopian Seasoning or some of the spices Tyler brought back from Oman. If you aren’t sure what to use- you can’t go wrong with paprika in this one- smoked if you have it.

Greek Stuffed Zucchini (Kolokithakia Yemista)

24 medium sized green zucchini

1 large onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs ground beef lamb

1/3 cup white basmati rice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint ( don’t omit, you may use dry mint if fresh is not available)

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon Syrian spice

fresh ground black pepper


2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

2 eggs, separated ( does not work with egg replacer)

juice of one lemon

Wash zucchini and cut off stems and reserve them.   Scoop out centers of zucchini with a small spoon or zucchini corer. (I use the opposite end of a spoon which may work better depending on the shape of your cutlery).   Make corks from the reserved ends by trimming each.   Rinse and set zucchini aside. Gently fry the onion in 1 tbs olive oil until soft.   Mix onion into the meat with the rice, tomato paste, 2 tbs parsley, mint and cinnamon, and Syrian spice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill each zucchini with the meat mixture and cork closed. Place in layers in a pot, add chicken stock, the other 1 tbs olive oil and salt to taste.  Invert a heavy plate on top of zucchini and cover tightly.  Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.  When cooked drain off stock carefully into a small pan.  Reserve stock. Reduce stock to 1 1/2 cups over heat and thicken with flour mixed to a paste with a little cold water.  Let it boil for 1 minute. Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff, add yolks and beat thoroughly, gradually beat in lemon juice, then boiling stock.

Return sauce to the small pan and place over low heat stirring constantly until egg is cooked *** DO NOT BOIL ***.


Arrange zucchini on warm serving dishes and spoon some sauce over them.   Garnish with chopped remaining parsley and serve the rest of sauce in a jug.  Serve this with a fresh Greek salad and potatoes (mashed or lemon roasted) or rice (seasoned with Syrian spice).

Thanks Amy!!!!!



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