Zucchini boats in tahini sauce

Zucchini boats, filled with perfectly seasoned juicy minced meat, cooked in a velvety, minty and slightly tangy tahini sauce.  If you have never cooked with tahini, the idea might seem odd at first but this velvety smooth paste is good for so much more than hummus!

In the Levant and Syria in particular, tahini is a pantry staple. It is used to make salad dressings, halva, cookies, and it makes the perfect sauce to cook meat and vegetables in.

These zucchini boats are super easy to make and you can even do the prep a day or two ahead of time, cook the zucchini, prepare the filling and the sauce and store everything in the fridge. All you have to do on the day you want to serve this is to fill the zucchini, pour over the sauce, and bake for 30 minutes!

 

 

Ingredients

6 medium zucchini

500 gm minced beef

1 Large onion chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2  teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried mint

 

For the sauce

2 cups water

6 tablespoons tahini sauce

1 teaspoon dried mint

1/2  teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 lemon to 2 lemons

 

Preparation:

1.Cut your zucchini in half lengthwise. Place them in a pot full of water, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, cook for 5-7 min then drain the zucchini and set aside (You want to cook them half way because they will finish cooking in the oven)

2.Once the zucchini cools down use a teaspoon to hollow the center of each zucchini leaving the rim intact

3.Arrange your boats in an oven safe pan

4. In a pot over medium heat, cook your minced meat, stir to break it down, once the meat starts to release its fluids and change color add the salt, spices and then add the onions. Stir occasionally till the fluids almost dry up. Add the olive oil and stir for a few minutes, followed by the dried mint. stir for one last time and then turn off the heat.

5. Place one to two tablespoons of the filling in each zucchini boat

To make the tahini sauce

Add the tahini, lemon juice, salt and dried mint to a bowl. Whisk to combine (the tahini will become lighter in color and thicker in consistency)

Add  the hot water and stir till the tahini is completely dissolved then carefully pour it over the zucchini

6.Cover the pan in parchment paper topped with aluminum foil then bake on the lowest rack of a 180 C oven for 20-30 minutes. (You want the zucchini to cooks through and the tahini sauce to thicken)

7.Serve with rice and  enjoy

 

Lara Khouli