A French-inspired Egyptian casserole combining four main ingredients: zucchini, ground beef, mozzarella cheese and bechamel sauce. Easy and hearty! Your friends will beg for the recipe.
- 8 medium-sized zucchini, washed, dried, sliced in rounds or lengthwise
- 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground green cardamom
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
For Bechamel Sauce
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Arranged zucchini slices (cut in 1/2-inch rounds or lengthwise) in one layer in oiled baking sheet. Use two or more sheets if needed, do not crowd zucchini. Season with salt and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place in oven for 15-18 minutes, turn over once midway through.When tender and slightly golden, remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 350F.
- Meanwhile, heat one tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Saute minced onion briefly and add ground beef. Season with allspice, ground cardamom, salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until meat is well-done (about 10 minutes). Sit aside.
- Prepare bechamel sauce. Begin with heating 1/2 cup olive oil. Add flour and cook on medium- low for 5 minutes or until smooth and golden. Raising heat to medium, add milk one-cup-at-a-time and whisk continuously. Cook for another 7 minutes or until mixture is smooth, begins to bubble and thickens a little. Remove from heat and let sit to thicken into a creamy bechamel.
- In an oiled baking dish or large cast iron skillet, assemble cassarole. Place first layer of meat, then add two layers of zucchini. Now add meat and one cup mozzarella cheese.Top the casserole with an even layer of the creamy bechamel sauce.
- Insert casserole into the now 350F oven for 45 minutes until the bechamel top turns golden- brown. Watch carefully, you do not want a completely browned bechamel.
- Remove from heat and let sit about 5 minutes before serving.
- For side salads, you may like to add our simple Mediterranean Salad or Tabouli. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: French/Egyptian/Mediterranean
Keywords: Zucchini, Bechamel, Casserole, Egyptian Casserole, French Casserole,