The Lebanese have rarely met a vegetable we didn’t try to stuff. And around here, that stuffing is always a combination of meat and rice, fragrant with cinnamon. Any and all of these dishes are elevated with a dollop of labneh and plenty of good, soft, thin pita or flatbread nearby.
Coosa, Stuffed Squash in Tomato Broth
How lucky if you can find the pale green little coosa that are traditional for this dish (I’ve seen them called “Korean” squash.). Green and yellow zucchini are a delightful stand-in. Coring them is key.
Eggplant Bake, Sheik al Mesheh
The classic approach to the eggplant is to make a kind of stuffed boat; we broil slices to a mahogany brown and layer them with cooked, seasoned meat and tomato sauce—then serve it over rice.
Garlicky Stuffed Cabbage
Aunt Rita’s, God rest her soul, still reign as the best cabbage rolls I’ve ever eaten. Here’s the recipe she gave me over an amazing lunch one afternoon, and a great way to blanch the cabbage.