Grape Leaves Stuffed with Bulgur, Apricots and Mint (Yalancie Dolmas)
Grape leaves are available packed in jars and require soaking to remove the excess brine that preserves them.
14 grape leaves, rinsed and patted dry
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for garnish
½ cup coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained
¼ cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup (packed) dried apricots, finely chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground allspice
- In heavy medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Stir in bulgur. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine lentils with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Gently boil, uncovered, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add raisins, apricots, mint, cinnamon and allspice. Stir in bulgur and lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To fill grape leaves: Place one leaf flat on work surface with veins facing upward. Place 2 teaspoons filling in middle of leaf close to stalk end. Fold bottom of leaf over and each side in to enclose filling. Roll up firmly toward point. Place roll in the palm of hand and give a slight squeeze to form a firm shape. Repeat procedure with remaining leaves and filling.
- Arrange stuffed leaves, seam sides down, in medium skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and enough water to cover leaves. Cover pan and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender. Add extra water to skillet as necessary. Allow leaves to cool, covered, in skillet. Transfer to a serving dish and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve garnished with lemon and mint if desired.