My mother (of Greek origin) used to stuff vine leaves a few times a year if we were lucky, as she always claimed it was hard work – in those days they weren’t being sold in jars (preserved in brine), so you had to pick them yourself. I love stuffed veges, and I love a hint of spice, so I rustled up some filling, which took only a short while to prepare, and Hey presto . . . a ‘Summer Delight’ that looks impressive, tastes delicious and is easy to make.
- 2 large iceberg leaves, washed and drained properly
- 1 cup plain rice (or any other of your choice) washed, boiled and drained
- 10 walnuts each chopped in a few pieces
- 1 small raw carrot cut into very small squares (or grated)
- ½ small, finely chopped red onion (or 2 small spring onions)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- pinch of ground cardamon
- ½ tsp paprika
- finely chopped fresh mint and basil (about 4 leaves of each)
- 2 tbsps golden sultanas
- 3 or 5 chopped, black Greek or Spanish olives
- a little dash of fresh lemon juice (optional)
- a little salt
- a little drizzle of olive or sunflower oil
In a non-stick pan, fry your pre-boiled rice in a little oil with all the spices for a couple of minutes, then allow to cool down properly. Now add the rest of the ingredients (except for the lettuce), and blend well using a fork. Using a large spoon, place one or two servings into the centre of each iceberg leaf and roll – I would use a couple of toothpicks to keep in place. Serve immediately. A fresh fruit juice complements this wonderfully, and makes not only for a great light lunch but also a highly nutritious one ! Bon Appetit !
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