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Appetizers, Grilled, Mains, Quick and Easy

Grilled lamb meatballs in fig leaves

Grilled lamb meatballs in fig leaves
Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

In the beautiful economy of the forest -- or the urban backyard garden -- leaves are nature's brilliant cookware. Banana leaves can be cut down to make plates or unfurled into wrappers perfect for steaming fish on a low-slung grill. ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour | Serves 6
  • 24 fig leaves
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • Wooden skewers for grilling
  • 1 1/2 cups raita

Step 1Blanch the leaves, a few at a time, in boiling water until softened slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl of ice water, then drain, pat dry and set aside.

Step 2In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, pork, garlic, mint, parsley, salt, cumin, Aleppo and black peppers and onion until well-combined.

Step 3Place a leaf on the work surface, vein side up and stem facing you. Snip off the stem. Form about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a meatball and place it on the leaf centered and toward the bottom. Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the meatball, then fold in the sides and roll up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Run a skewer through the middle. Continue until all the leaves are filled, placing four stuffed leaves on each skewer.

Step 4Grill over medium-low heat, turning often, until the fig leaves are browned but not burned and the meatballs have cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately, unwrapping the leaves and discarding them, with a bowl of raita for dipping.

Note: Soak the skewers in water while you're assembling the packets. Serve with raita.


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