Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer squash..Cousa

Can you tell it's finally stopped raining? Now that the sun has decided to shine for a change we have an abundance of squash! We gardeners' are just never happy :)
As if we didn't have enough of an explosive crop of of summer, zucchini, and pattypan
squash.. now we have a plethora of cousa!

Cousa is one of my favorite squashes of summer. It's a Lebanese zucchini that's traditionally stuffed with seasoned meat and rice. You can easily use the same preparation guideline for any summer squash, but it's even better with the real deal-- a gorgeous squash, light green in color with a slight nutty flavor to it and a bit chubbier in shape than typically zucchini. Try some in your garden..they are prolific growers! I'm afraid I got carried away this year and planted a dozen plants! We'll have enough cousa until Thanksgiving :) I usually stuff my cousa, but you can use it in any squash dish you like to prepare.


To make stuffed cousa:

1 lb ground lamb or ground hamburg (or combine the two)
4 medium sized cousa- pulp & seeds removed and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 shallots, minced
olive oil to sautee
1 cup long grained rice,uncooked
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped fine & briefly pulsed in processor
1 handful of freshly chopped mint about 1/2 cup, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
sea salt, white pepper, sumac pepper to taste
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out pulp and seed with a spoon and chop into bite size pieces, then set aside. Saute in olive oil ground meat, shallots, garlic and squash pulp until squash is just tender and meat just about browned. Once cooked, add rice along with a little bit of the tomato to hold all it together and give it some texture. Add seasoning and mint and mix all together well. Line a baking pan with the emptied cousa squash shells and begin to stuff them with the meat/rice/tomato mixture. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and a drizzle of more tomato sauce. Pour vegetable stock around each stuffed squash to come up to about half way up the squash in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Enjoy!


Karen said...

Hi Jady! Nice to see you posting... I know you've been busy! I've never eaten this... it looks good and I love stuffed squash. We've picked a few zucchini to steam, but not big enough to stuff yet. A dozen plants! Oh, my :)

~~louise~~ said...

I thought I had experienced every kind of squash there was and look, you introduce me to yet another!

I may have had this squash stuffed at my favorite Turkish restaurant. I'll have to check and remember to add it to my squash garden next season. I'm absolutely saving this recipe, thanks for sharing Jady:)

YankeeSoaper said...

Thx Karen! yikes, yes a dozen LOL

YankeeSoaper said...

YW Louise! But do only plant a couple :)

Marta said...

hahahaha yes, the crazy summer rains just makes zucchini go wild!
This is a lovely way to use some up, though :)I'm also in a veg-stuffing frenzy lately!! Just posted stuffed pepper myself :)

~~louise~~ said...

Oh I will Jady, I will. There's so many things I'm longing to plant next year.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Stuffing squash is one of my favorite ways to eat this abundant summer veggie. Yours looks great and I've never heard of cousa before.

Karen Joy said...

Thank you for this!!

I found your post after doing some investigative work... This squash is sold locally (in the Phoenix area) as Mexican Grey Squash, but I've been unable to find much info on it, though I've eaten it for years, and even tried growing it last summer in my garden (somewhat unsuccessfully, because the seeds produced a squash that was NOT Mexican Grey Squash/Cousa).

But, I saw this squash on a TV cooking show last night, and after a little Googling, it appears that "my" squash and cousa are one and the same.

Your recipes looks fabulous. I love lamb. I am DEFINITELY going to make this in the near future.

JessicaH said...

Found a nice thread here on growing these Lebanese White Bush Trieste squash. I happened to buy a plant locally and boy, did it perform nice! The squashes last a long time in storage too!

JessicaH said...

Found a nice thread on growing them: I happened to buy some plants locally in eastern PA this summer and boy did they perform nicely! These last a long time in storage too!

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