Adapted from the Hadassah Jewish Holiday cookbook

Original recipe by Gertrude Unger of White Plains, New York

I buy community cookbooks, firstly because it’s an easy and fun way to support a community, and secondly, as I am so curious about people and their food stories, it’s amazing to get a glimpse of a community through the recipes they share.

Occasionally I will come across a recipe in a community cookbook that is entirely unique to a family, a place, or a group of friends. What is wonderful about these cookbooks, is that the recipes are often tried and tested family favorites and someone in some community somewhere encouraged the maker to share their secret recipe. In this case ‘Greek casserole’ I don’t know who Gertrude Unger is, or where her recipe comes from, but I can guarantee it was a family favorite in her home and she was kind enough to share it with her community to raise some money. So thank you Gertrude for a dish that has become a favorite in my home as well!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g (1lb) ground beef
  • 45g (1/4 cup) uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 240ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 25g (¼ cup) seasons panko bread crumbs
  1. Heat oven to 180℃ (350℉).
  2. Heat a large saute pan, once hot add oil, heat the oil until shimmering, add the onion and cook until soft and golden, stirring constantly about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for a further minute, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the ground beef to the onion and garlic in the pan and brown the beef until all the pink is gone. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To build the casserole: In a medium oven-safe casserole dish with high sides, spread the rice on the bottom of the dish. Place half the zucchini slice in a single layer over the rice. Top the zucchini with the cooked ground beef mixture. Top the ground beef with another single layer of sliced zucchini. Pour the chicken broth over the zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini with the panko crumbs.
  5. Cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Best served the day it is made.