A speciality of Northern Cyprus and the Aegean coast, this is an unusual rich yogurt pie which is best served for lunch on a warm summer’s day with a cucumber and tomato salad in a lemon and dill dressing.
12-16fresh or preserved vine leaves, washed and prepared (p. 41)
4-6tablespoons thick yogurt
2shallots, or 3-4spring onions, finely sliced
bunch of fresh parsley, dill and mint, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4tablespoonsolive oil and alittlemelted butter
For the top
2tablespoonscoarse breadcrumbs or roasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350F/Mark 4/180C
Brown the shallots in a little of the olive oil and butter. Put aside to cool.
Brush a shallow oven-proof dish with some of the oil and butter mixture. Line the bottom and sides with half the vine leaves, letting them hang over the sides and brushing each one with oil and butter.
In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the herbs and shallots. Season to taste. Beat in the rice flour and spoon the mixture on to the vine leaves, spreading it out evenly. Place the remaining leaves over the top, brushing them with oil and butter, and pull the dangling leaves up over the top to create a tight package. Brush generously with the rest of the oil and butter, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs or sesame seeds over the top, or leave plain.
Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until it is firm to touch and the top leaves are crisp. Leave to cool for a few minutes. Eat hot or cold.