Meat Patties in Lemon Leaves

From the Amalfi Coast to Sicily, lemon leaves lend an unusual fragrant touch to this savory meat dish.


  • ½  lb. (250 grams) lean ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (use day-old bread)
  • Few tablespoons of milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


Soak the breadcrumbs in milk, then squeeze out excess.  Mix together all the ingredients except the oil, and work with your hands until you have a soft mixture (add a bit of milk if necessary.)

Form the meat mixture into small flat patties, brush with oil on both sides, and place between 2 lemon leaves.  Fasten with toothpicks and brush outside of leaves with olive oil.

Heat a flat iron grill over a high flame, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook patties 3 minutes on one side, then turn and cook 2 minutes. The lemon leaves release their oil during cooking and flavor the meat.  Remove the leaves before eating. Serves 4. Buon appetito!

The patties may also be cooked on a barbecue grill or in a hot oven, at 425° (200° C) for 7-10 minutes.