Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Once you’ve discovered how easy it is to stuff your own grape leaves, you’ll want to make this appetizer all the time.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 ½ cups)
½ cup long-grain white rice
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup currants
⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, stems reserved
3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint, stems reserved
1 16-oz. jar preserved grape leaves, rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup lemon juice
- Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in rice and pine nuts, and sauté 3 minutes more. Add currants, cinnamon, bay leaf, and 1 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked, but still firm. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut tough stems from grape leaves. Line large pot with 3 or 4 leaves. Place parsley and mint stems on bottom.
- Place one grape leaf smooth-side down on work surface and set heaping teaspoon of filling near base of stem end of leaf. Fold end and sides over filling, and roll toward leaf point. Set seam-side down in pot. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling, packing close together and layering on top of one another.
- Add lemon juice and 1 cup water, cover with 3 grape leaves, and invert heatproof plate on top to hold in place. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 2 hours, or until liquid is absorbed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 2 dozen