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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.

Picking Lime Leaves½ cup pearl barley

¼ 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)Stuffed Lime Leaves
  • 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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