Stuffed Grape Leaves

Now is the time for confession. As a son of the

South and, at one time located some 26 miles

from a grocery store and, at least a hundred miles

from a retail outlet stocking preserved grape

leaves, I once resorted to poached kudzu leaves.

And I can tell you that not only were they edible,

our guests never had a clue. But I would recommend

that you find a middle eastern supplier or a vineyard

where you can pick a few dozen leaves and simmer

them in salt water for five minutes.

½ pound of ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two

½ cup of long grain basmati rice, uncooked

1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, minced

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, minced

2 tablespoons of fresh garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt to taste

Grape leaves

2 lemons, thinly sliced

Combine the mixture and place one teaspoonful in the middle of

each leaf, rolling it up and turning the edges of the leaves inward.

Place in a steamer basket, or pack tightly on a bed of loose leaves

in a boiler, and add water just to cover. Cover with slices of one

lemon. Steam, or gently simmer for thirty to forty five minutes until

rice is cooked. Arrange on a plate with slices of the other lemon

on top and drizzle with olive oil before serving.