Lamb Stuffed Greens With Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes


This is a variation on cabbage rolls, or even a stuffed grape leaves idea.  If you have a favorite stuffing for such things, I'm sure they would be nice inside these leafy greens as well.  In this recipe, many of the items in this season's share are used.  I have fresh herbs in my garden, but I would imagine a zesty or flavorful dried seasoning blend would be nice too.  One thing to keep in mind is that the leaves will extract a lot of flavor from the stuffing. Be sure to season it generously so it does not end up tasting bland. Ingredients: About two dozen large leafy greens, (kohlrabi greens, collards, or napa cabbage work well) 1 lb ground leg of lamb 1/2 cup (dry) quinoa, cooked with broth or stock until tender 1 sweet onion, minced 6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed 1 large sweet pepper, diced 1 medium tomato, diced Fresh hot peppers (to taste), diced Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme (to taste), minced 6 oz tomato paste 4 slices of dry toast, ground into bread crumbs 1-2 cups lamb stock 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes or diced tomato 1 cup balsamic vinegar Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Method: Boil about 8 quarts of water in a large stock pot.  Dunk the washed and trimmed greens in the pot and boil for about one minute. Gently lift the leaves out of the boiling water (as to not tear them) and place in a bowl of ice-cold water.  When cool, remove from the water and let drain in a colander. Next, combine the lamb, cooked quinoa, onion, garlic, sweet pepper, tomato, hot peppers, herbs, tomato paste, bread crumbs, about one tablespoon of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.  Take about 1/4 cup of the stuffing and place at the base of each leaf (they may require more or less, depending on the size of the leaves.) Roll from the base of the leaves to the tips, tucking the sides in as you go so the stuffing is completely encapsulated in the leaves.  Place snugly in a glass or ceramic baking dish and pour the lamb stock over the rolls.  Cover with an ovenproof lid or aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour. After removing the rolls from the oven, let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

While the rolls are baking, place the cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar in a skillet and saute until the tomatoes have burst and the vinegar and juices have reduced a little. When the tomato and vinegar begin to caramelize, remove from the heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the warm tomato and vinegar reduction over the lamb rolls before serving.