Keftedes with tomato, mint and parsley and crisp vine leaves


  • Serves 8 people

  • 180 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 6 large vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 70 gm (¼ cup) tomato paste
  • 1 kg minced veal
  • ¾ cup (firmly packed) each flat-leaf parsley and mint, finely chopped
  • 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 tsp each ground cumin, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
  • For shallow-frying: light olive oil
  • 8 vine leaves preserved in brine
01   Heat 60ml extra-virgin olive oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan over medium heat, add onion and sauté until golden (12-15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
02   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170C. Blanch tomatoes until skins split (30 seconds), then refresh. Peel, halve over a bowl, discard seeds and reserve liquid. Combine 60ml liquid (reserve remainder) with tomato paste and 125ml water in a large bowl. Stir well to dissolve tomato paste, then add veal, herbs, flour, spices and cooked onion, season well, mix thoroughly and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
03   Meanwhile, place tomato halves cut-side down in a roasting pan lined with baking paper, drizzle with 60ml extra-virgin olive oil, season to taste and roast until starting to caramelise (30-40 minutes). Cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor with remaining tomato liquid until coarsely chopped. Season to taste and keep warm.
04   Meanwhile, heat 1cm olive oil in a deep-sided frying pan until hot. Add vine leaves one at a time and fry, turning once, until crisp (1-2 minutes), then set aside to drain on absorbent paper.
05   Shape veal mixture into walnut-sized keftedes and place on a tray (makes about 40 balls). Heat remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Dust keftedes with flour and fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked (6-8 minutes). Serve hot with roast tomato sauce and crisp vine leaves.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







Drinking Suggestion:

FRUITY ROSÉ. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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