If you’re familiar with Lebanese food (and Middle Eastern in general), you may have noticed it is really big on stuffing things: vegetables, sweet and savory doughs, leaves…You name it, we find a stuffing for it.
When we were kids, our dad used to bring fresh tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and eggplant from the garden. Then our mom would stuff them with a traditional mixture of rice and ground meat and cover it with some sort slightly sweet, sour sauce with lots of lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. The smell of all those ingredients cooking and blending together slowly in the oven, was just amazing…
As we got older and everyone (except for our dad of course) pretty much stopped eating meat, she got a little creative and found great vegetarian alternatives for us. Anything from garbanzo beans, to mushrooms, nuts… and even tried using “fake” meat when she would come here to visit (and yes, our dad was absolutely thrilled with it…)
Inspired by her creative ideas, we came up with dish that is not only fun, super tasty and delicious, but also a bit different and perfect for Passover.
Hope you enjoy it!
Vicky and Ruth
- 15 medium size organic Yukon gold potatoes thoroughly washed (preferably of similar shape and size)
- 8 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 2-8oz packs baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt, divided
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup fresh chopped parsley (plus ¼ cup for garnish)
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large carrot, finely grated
- 1-28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 6 saffron threads
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cumin
- Cut potatoes in half. Using a metal melon baller (or a spoon if you don’t have one), scoop out the center of the potatoes (keep both in 2 separate bowls of cold water and reserve the centers for future use. See Note)
- In a 4-6 quart deep saute pan with a lid, saute chopped baby bella mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 4 cloves of garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook on high for 7 minutes or until the mushroom are dry, stirring often
- Reduce heat to medium, add parsley and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside
- In the same pan, saute shallots and remaining minced garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook at medium-high heat for about 7 minutes or until shallots are translucent.
- Add tomato paste and grated carrot. Cook at medium heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for about 3 minutes.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of salt, saffron, cinnamon and cumin. Cook at medium-high for 5-7 minutes.
- In the meantime, fill each potato half with cooked mushrooms. Arrange them on the saute pan,mushroom side up, over the tomato sauce.
- Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve warm
Using a melon baller, scoop the center of each potato half
Stuff each potato half with cooked mushrooms
Arrange stuffed potatoes over tomato sauce