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My Best Recipe

Exotic Stuffed Grape Leaves From Egypt

July 31, 1986

"This old family recipe is passed on from my great-grandmother, who acquired it from Egypt," Leora Cyger writes.

EXOTIC STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES

1 (1-pound) jar grape leaves

2 tablespoons oil

2 large onions, diced

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 pounds lean ground beef

2 cups pine nuts

1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram

1/2 teaspoon ground basil

3 tablespoons minced parsley

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

Salt, pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup bouillon

Soak grape leaves in cool water and drain. Repeat several times. Heat oil in large skillet and saute onions until golden brown. Add beef and cook until meat shows no red. Remove from heat and add pine nuts, marjoram, basil, parsley and half of tomato sauce. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand until cooled. Place 1 grape leaf, shiny side down (use two or three pieces if leaves are small) and place 1/2 tablespoon of filling on each. Anchor filling with top of leaf, tuck in sides and roll.

Cover bottom of roaster casserole with flat grape leaves. Stack filled grape leaves in layers. Combine remaining tomato sauce, lemon juice and bouillon and pour on top of rolls. Use smaller casserole cover on top of rolls (inside casserole dish) to keep them from unrolling. Cover and bake at 325 degrees 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot or cold as an appetizer or a meat side dish. Makes about 80 pieces.

--LEORA CYGER

San Gabriel

The Times pays $10 for readers' recipes published. Send an unusual and unpublished recipe to My Best Recipe, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Write how you got the recipe, how you use it, and include name, telephone number and address. Recipes become the property of The Times and will not be returned. Allow three weeks for payment after publication.

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