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Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas) 2
From: Gretchen Miller

I just made these the other night, and they were quite good.
I started with this recipe, from The Old World Kitchen, and basically eyeballed and fiddled until I had something I liked.
I'll note the recipe and then note my changes:

  • grape leaves, fresh or bottled
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lb onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • (1 tsp coriander, which was my addition to this)
  • juice of 2 lemons
Heat half the olive oil, fry onions until soft, add rice and stir to coat.
Pour on a glass of water, add raisans and cook until all water is absorbed.
Roll into grape leaves, place grape leaves, seam side down, in a baking dish (close together), add more water, oil and lemon juice and bake at 300F for 1 hour.

Now, my changes:
I use the bottled grape leaves, because I like the extra tang from the pickling juice.
I also used green onions (both white and green) instead of regular onion, and used more of just about everything.

Heat olive oil, fry onions until soft, add rice and stir to coat.
Pour on a glass of water, add raisins and coriander.
As water is absorbed, add more until the rice is firm but no longer crunchy.
(I've found that the one glass method tends to produce crunchy/undercooked rice).
Roll mixture into grape leaves (notes on rolling below) and pack like the bottom layer of a can of sardines (or like the 12 bunnies in the bed...) with the seam side down.
When the pan is full, add one or two fingers of water (i.e. pour in water so the height of the water on the side of the pan is the width of one or two fingers)
Squirt lots of lemon juice on the little suckers.
Cover, put in 300F over and bake for 1 hour.
The tops may get a little dry during cooking, but will remoisten when stored in the refrigorator.

Note on rolling grapeleaves:

Place your grape leaf flat, stem end away from you, vein side up.
Place about a tablespoon or so of mixture a tiny bit closer to you than the point where the two side leaves branch off.
Fold the bottom over the stuffing toward you.
Fold the side leaves in toward the center.
The stuffing should now be surrounded on at least 3 sides.
Roll toward you until you have a little cigar shaped packet.