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Stuffed Vine Leaves and zucchini
- 16 oz vine leaves, trimmed
- 24 oz ground meat
- 32 oz small zucchini
- 11/4 cups rice
- 1/4 tspn ground pepper
- 1 cup lemon juice (optional)
- 1 tspn salt
- 1 medium head garlic, peeled
Trim vine leaves. Wash. Pour water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Dip vine leaves in boiling water and lift immediately. Place in cold water then drain. Prepare stuffing by mixing: rice, ground meat, salt and pepper. Spread each vine leaf, shiny side down on a work surface. Put 1 tbsp / or tspn (depending on size of leaf), stuffing on each leaf. Fold sides and roll up into a small and neat roll. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Arrange cutlets in pot, pack vine leaf rolls close together in layers with garlic cloves in between. Invert a heavy plate on top to keep rolls in shape during cooking. Wash zucchini and cut stems. Hollow zucchini using an Apple corer. Wash from inside and out. Stuff zucchini, not over filling them. Arrange zucchini on top of plate. Add hot water to cover and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently over low heat for 2 hours or until leaves are tender (when cooking add some hot water if necessary to have stock left when served). Arrange in a platter and serve with fresh mint and green onions.
Note: You can prepare steps 1-12 the day before cooking. Place in refrigerator for the next day.