This is my grandmother's recipe, except she doesn't use recipes, so it's an approximation. If you don't like zucchini you can stuff bell peppers, tomatoes, Italian eggplants, or pretty much any receptacle-shaped vegetable. This is also a lot easier than it looks.
6 zucchini (you can use the normal long ones but I like the round ones, because you can put more stuffing inside, and obviously the stuffing's the best part)
2-3 cloves garlic
a few tomatoes or a 1/2c or so of tomato sauce
juice from 1/2 lemon
mint for garnish
1/2lb ground beef or lamb
1/3c white rice
2 cloves garlic
a few tablespoons tomato sauce
spices-- I used tomato flakes & baharat
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Start with the stuffing. Chop onion & garlic. Saute in olive oil with spices-- cumin-based flavors are good here-- until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Pour cooked onion into a large bowl. Add raw meat. Rinse rice until it runs clear. Add rice. Add some olive oil and tomato sauce to moisten, and generously season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Chop the end of the zucchini (small end if you're using rounded ones) and remove the insides with a corer or a spoon. Discard insides. Don't cut all the way through to the other side. You should have zucchini shells now. Stuff them will the stuffing but don't fill all the way (the rice will expand).
Heat olive oil in a large skillet (the same you used for the onion is fine). Chop onion and garlic; saute until translucent. Add zucchinis to pan and oil if necessary; saute briefly on all sides. Add tomato sauce and a bit of water if sauce looks very thick. Add lemon juice.
If you have extra stuffing, make little meatballs and add them to the sauce too.
Cover pan and cook in oven until rice is done, about 45 minutes. You can reduce the sauce on the stovetop, uncovered, if necessary at the end.
Serve garnished with mint.