Eggs & lemons look like footballs

A lot of people I know are getting ready to watch the Super Bowl in a few hours, either cooking or packing up to watch at a friend’s house or a local sports bar.

I’m getting ready, too, and while I’m preparing some basic snacks for tonight, I also wanted to make some unexpected things, too just for a little fun.

I love Greek food, so I was thinking I would make one of my favorites – stuffed lettuce with egg-lemon sauce (Not sure of the official Greek name for it but here is my attempt at translating: μαρούλι γεμιστά με αυγολέμονο). I chose that dish because it is colorful and tasty, but it also includes a couple of ingredients that look like little footballs – the eggs and the lemons.

Stuffed lettuce with avgolemono 

12-16 large romaine lettuce leaves (top halves only)

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 cup rice

1 1/4 cup water 

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried dill leaves)

(some people use a little fresh chopped mint and/or parsley, too)

3 eggs, separated

juice of 2 lemons

1 cup vegetable broth 

salt and pepper to taste

Blanche lettuce leaves in boiling water – just long enough to soften them (10 seconds or so). Set aside. In a large saute pan, saute onion in butter until translucent. Add in pine nuts and raisins. Stir in rice until coated in butter. Slowly stir in water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put about 1 heaping tablespoon or so of the rice mixture into each lettuce leaf and roll up. Set aside. Heat vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. Whisk egg whites until they are just about stiff. Stir in egg yolks then lemon juice. Stir in warmed vegetable broth a little at a time so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Heat egg-broth mixture (some people like to use a double boiler) for another minute or so to make sure egg is fully cooked. Salt and pepper to taste. You can add the lettuce rolls into the sauce to warm them up again or ladle sauce on top of the rolls. Sprinkle a little dried dill leaves on top before serving.

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