6-8 medium zucchini
1 cup rice
1 pound ground meat
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
1 cup or about 30 dried apricots, soaked in water overnight (reserve water)
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1. Using an apple corer, scoop out the pulp from the zucchini, making sure to keep the outer skin intact and to leave one end closed. Reserve the pulp for another use.
2. Combine the rice, meat, salt and pepper to taste, and cinnamon and pine nuts, if using. Blend well.
3. Stuff the zucchini ¾ full.
4. Open each apricot and place face down in a heavy casserole. Cover with the stuffed zucchini and top with the remaining apricots. Squeeze lemon over all.
5. Pour 1 cup of the reserved water from the apricots over the zucchini. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1½-2 hours, until the zucchini are tender. If needed, add more of the reserved apricot water.