Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
makes approximately 60 leaves
- 1 16-oz. jar of California grape leaves (generally less
torn-up than the Greek ones — or find an unsprayed grape vine and either
blanch your own or pickle them in brine)
- 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 med. onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 cups converted rice
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2/3 cup currants
- 1 tsp. turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
- 1 cup minced parsley (or mint, cilantro, or dill, or some
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (usually 2-3 lemons)
- mint and lemon slices (optional garnish)
- Cook onions and garlic, in a large saucepan, in 3 Tablespoons oil till
- Add uncooked rice and cook for around 2 minutes on low
- Add 1 1/2 cups stock and 1/2 cup wine. Add currants and simmer, covered, 10
minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 1 cup more of the stock. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Add remaining stock and simmer for 5 minutes or until the rice is
- Reduce heat to low, add cinnamon and nutmeg (and turmeric if desired), and
cook one minute.
- Cool. Fluff with fork.
- Add pinenuts, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Rinse grape leaves carefully and pat dry. (They tear
easily.) Put one Tablespoon filling in each leaf, rough side inward. Roll
tightly, tucking sides in, to about one inch long. (They look more or less
like short cigars.)
- Line the bottom of a 4 quart pot with any torn leaves to prevent
burning. Pack the stuffed leaves in tightly in concentric circles, then in
layers of concentric circles. Add the 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup water,
and 1/2 cup olive oil.
- Place a heat-proof plate on top — one that fits inside and will press
the grape leaves down. Place one or more heavy cans on top. Simmer over
medium heat for 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before removing plate or
cans. Arrange on a platter, garnish with lemon slices and mint, and serve at
room temperature or slightly chilled. Include the amazing green oil that
will be left in the pot. Some serve these with a yogurt sauce, but it's