Stuffed Zucchini with Egg-Lemon Sauce

Although it is considered something of a formal greek dish, it's also a mom's favourite recipe.


Chef: Manolis Aslanoglou

Preparation & Cooking time: 65'

Serves: 6

Egg-lemon sauce (greek avgolemono) is one of those tricky that can strike fear into the hearts of amateur cooks, yet it dresses a plethora of Greek dishes. Here, it is used to add flavor and depth to a great summer vegetable, which is stuffed with rice and minced meat. This is considered something of a formal dish, as it is often served by Athenians at their Sunday family lunches. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the tips off the zucchinis and set aside. Scoop out the interior using a small spoon or an apple-corer and place the flesh in a bowl. Sprinkle a little salt inside the zucchini tubes.
Use a separate bowl for the minced meat. Grate the zucchini flesh and add to the mince, along with the rice, onion, herb of choice, carrot, tomato, salt and pepper. Add 50 ml olive oil and mix by hand.
Use a small spoon to fill the zucchini tubes with the mince mixture and place side-by-side in a wide, shallow saucepan, using the tips to block up the ends. You can make two layers to save space and make sure you pack them quite tightly so they don’t fall apart. Add enough water to just cover the zucchinis and cook over medium heat for 35-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the zucchinis. Remove from the heat and set aside for the liquid to cool.

Egg-lemon sauce: Shortly before removing the zucchinis from the heat, beat the egg whites in a bowl to create a meringue. Without stopping the whisking process, add the yolks and the lemon juice slowly. Next, start adding the liquid from the resting zucchinis, one ladleful at a time, to the mixture, whisking continuously. The aim is to bring the temperature of the egg-lemon mixture up to that of the liquid in the saucepan that has been cooling for a few minutes off the heat. Once that is accomplished, pour the egg-lemon mixture over the zucchinis, shaking the saucepan gently so it blends into the juice. Once you have a smooth sauce, you can return to a low heat for a couple of minutes, giving the saucepan a few gentle shakes.

 

Serve the zucchinis with a generous helping of egg-lemon sauce on top.

INGREDIENTS

For the stuffed zucchinis:

  • 12 medium-sized regular zucchinis (or 6 round zucchinis)
  • 700 gr minced meat, all beef or half-beef, half-pork
  • 200 gr long-grain rice
  • 1 large red onion, grated
  • 1 bunch mint, fennel or dill leaves, finely chopped
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • Salt, freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, preferably organic, grated
  • 1 medium-sized ripe tomato, peeled and finely chopped

For the egg-lemon sauce:

  • 2 eggs, preferably organic, separated

  • Juice of 2 lemons (or to taste)



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