Lime leaves, from the tilia x europaea, fill the streets of London at the moment. These edible leaves make a great substitute for vine leaves. The leaves are best harvested in the spring, when they are still soft, and in the summer, the flowers make a refreshring drink. The tree doesn’t actually bare limes as fruit, but have a slight lime flavour without the tartness. They can be stuffed with anything you desire, really, but here’s a recipe to get you started.
Â¼ cup lentils
1 pack bacon
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 chopped onion
15 – 20 large lime leaves
salt to taste
seasoning to taste, (I use parsley, garlic and origanum)
- Prepare the barley and lentils according to the manufacturers instructions. Once ready set aside to cool
- Fry the onions until almost softened, then add the mushrooms and bacon until cooked.
- Season to taste.
- Mix with barley and lentils.
- Wash the lime leaves gently in a colander under running water
- Boil a pot of water, and one at a time, submerge the lime leaves in to boiling water for a couple of seconds (no more than two or three, to wilt it)
- Remove and place on a flat surface.
- Spoon one spoon of barley mixture in to the centre of the lime leaf
- Fold the top down, then one side, then another.
- Roll the rest of the leaf
- Repeat for the rest of the leaves.
Serve on a bed of the left over stuffing, or as individual servings.
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