Hot Stuffed Vine Leaves

A cucumber, mint and yoghurt salad makes a good accompaniment to these. They are also very good cold.

Ingredients

  • 24 vine leaves
  • 8 oz / 230 g cooked lamb, finely chopped or minced
  • 8 oz / 230 g cooked rice
  • 2 oz / 60 g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp pinenuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint, sage or coriander
  • crushed garlic (optional)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Method

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, and drop in the vine leaves. Bring back to the boil, drain, rinse, and pat the leaves dry. Mix the lamb with the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil. Spoon a little on to a leaf, fold over the sides, and roll into a cork shape. Place in an oiled ovenproof dish. Fill the rest of the leaves in the same way. Sprinkle with olive oil, and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 for 20–30 minutes.

The filling can be varied to use up other leftovers. I like to make a vegetarian filling, mixing cooked chick peas and couscous or lentils and quinoa, chopped mint, grated lemon zest, raisins and pinenuts.