Ingredient: Little coosa, little summer squash
It’s true that the Lebanese love to stuff it—grape leaves, cabbage, coosa. The coosa refers to a particular light green, medium-sized squash that is sweet, tender, and so good. But they’re difficult to find, so we turn also to traditional zucchini and yellow summer squash, which are succulent too.
Last week I was strolling down the burgeoning Harbor Springs farmer’s market (day-dreaming about what my own food stall might be if I had one there…oh the ideas!…maybe next year), and saw this adorable little basket of squash: coosa, zucchini, yellow squash, all in miniature. And I love anything miniature, so I bought them for their cuteness, with no specific purpose in mind.
I’d have to be completely nuts to try and stuff squash this small (though it did cross my mind), so instead I did something that could not be easier, or more delicious, or more traditional Lebanese, for a market-morning breakfast. We’ll have it, this week.
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my mouth is watering! we were just talking about koosa yesterday!!!
Oh coosa!!! Just the word itself brings the heavenly delight so clearly in focus, that, like my dear cousin Jody, sets my mouth to watering. Love coosa! Jody, wish we could sit down to the table right now and make it together (as our beautiful Mothers Janie and Katy must have done together in Johnstown–that is half the fun for Lebanese ladies, yes?), and then, dine on it together!
When I’ve had coosa that were too large or too small, I’ve chopped them up and put them with rice and the other makings of stuffed coosa. Much faster and easier than stuffing (although not as pretty) and it tastes pretty much the same.
Roger, my Mother did that too–delicious–although I have to admit to a preference for the stuffed peppers and coosa.
I prefer the stuffed also, mainly because of the eye appeal. A casserole of coosa and rice isn’t very pretty.
Jody, I mean your beautiful Mother-in-Law Janie. Did you know her? Happily, she and Jennie came to California in about 1978 and my husband Peter and I got to meet and love them both. I feel sad not having met David and Ferris but I am so happy to know you and Ferris on FB. Love to you all! Can you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me how Father Alexander is doing? Many thanks.
I’ve planted koosa in my garden and they are just coming on. Mmmmmmm!
Keep an eye out for squash bugs (also known a stink bugs). I recommend powdering with Sevin under the leaves. It’s the least toxic thing you can use unless you want to pick them. They will suck the juice out of the vine and inject virus. The plant can die in one day.