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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Holy Week Foods - Mehshi Aatea

When I asked my mother for Holy Week foods, she suggested Mehshi Aatea (no-meat stuffed vegetables). I asked what should I stuff? Any vegetable - chard, peppers, zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes, grape vine leaves; she answered. I opted for chard and green peppers tonight.

First, empty the insides of the vegetables you want to stuff and rinse them well.

If you are stuffing chard or grape vine leaves, blanch them for 2 seconds on each side.

Prepare the stuffing:

- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- Few parsley stems, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato finely chopped
- 0.5 cup rice
- 0.25 cup cooked chick peas or pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
You can use regular or long grain, white or brown rice; but not Basmati.

Roll the leaves or stuff the vegetables, but don't over do it so the rice does not expand and puncture the vegetables when cooking.

(And I am sure I will hear a lecture from mom about how messy my stuffed peppers look)

Layer the bottom of a pot with peeled potato slices. Add the stuffed vegetables.

Cover with a mixture of 25% lemon juice to 75% water (make sure the liquid covers all). Sprinkle with a bit of salt and a Tbsp olive oil.

Add a plate to hold down the vegetables so they don't move in the boiling sauce, then cover the pot.

Bring to boil and simmer about 30 - 40 minutes (until rice is cooked).

Serve at room temperature.


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