Sometimes the Mediterranean cooking bug gets me, and I’m powerless to resist. This time it demanded stuffed grape leaves, which are basically picked leaf pockets of happiness. No joke. These guys aren’t difficult to make, they just require a bit of time to put together. So grab a glass of wine, turn on the TV, and get to cookin!
Start with pickled grape leaves. These can be bought at pretty much any supermarket in the “ethnic foods” section. I know, not racist at all…
I like to stuff my grape leaves with a rice and ground beef mixture, but you could easily substitute lentils for the meat to make a vegetarian option. I find the meat and rice mixed with the mint and spices to be, well, delicious.
Happy eating, lovelies!
Mediterranean Stuffed Grape Leaves
1 jar pickled grape leaves
1 lb ground beef
1/2 small white onion
1 1/2 cups cooked long grain white rice
1 lemon, squeezed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (more or less, depending on taste)
2 Tbsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the ground beef with the chopped onion in a pan, then dump into a bowl with the cooked rice. Add cumin, mint, lemon juice, and salt, and mix together. Wash the grape leaves off, and pat dry. Scoop a spoonful of the mixture into the middle of each leaf and tuck in the sides. Roll up and place in a pan. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Pull out and let cool for a few minutes. Serve with greek yogurt topping.
Greek Yogurt Topping
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 cucumber, diced
salt to taste
Mix all together.