Zucchini Musakka with Chickpeas and Spiced Lamb

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Musa Dagdeviren cleverly adapts a classic recipe from the town of Kilis in southeastern Turkey: He soaks the zucchini in a saltwater bath, so it stays green and crisp even after it's cooked. More Amazing Lamb Recipes

Zucchini Musakka with Chickpeas and Spiced Lamb
Photo: © Frances Janisch
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Yield:
6

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 pound ground lamb

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste blended with 1/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Turkish sweet red pepper paste (see Note) or mild chile sauce

  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water and 3 tablespoons of kosher salt and stir until dissolved. Add the zucchini and let soak for 25 minutes. Drain.

  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the lamb and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until no pink remains, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, diluted tomato paste and the red pepper paste and simmer for 1 minute. Add the zucchini and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to a bowl and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with the parsley and mint and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Turkish sweet red pepper paste is available at Middle Eastern markets.

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