Stuffed vine leaves
Makes six dozen, but if that seems like hard work, stuff some sweet, slender peppers.
Photo: Eddie Jim
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- 1½ cups onion, finely diced
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup short-grain white rice
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp currants
- 3 tbsp flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 tsp dill, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
If using fresh vine leaves, blanch for at least 3 minutes to soften, then refresh under cold water.
If using preserved ones, rinse under cold water to remove the brine, and drain.
In a pot, add 1/4 cup of olive oil and fry the onion until translucent.
Add the rice and pine nuts and continue to fry for a couple of minutes. Stir in a cup of water, herbs, currants and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
Place the vine leaves smooth side down on a clean surface and heap a teaspoon of filling into the centre, then fold the stem end and sides over the filling and roll into a cigar shape.
Line a heavy-based pan with some unfilled vine leaves, then tightly pack and layer the rolls, seam side down. Douse with the remaining olive oil, water and lemon juice and invert a plate over the pan to keep them packed firmly.
Cover the pot tightly and simmer on a low heat for one hour. Remove from heat, allow to cool and leave for up to two hours to absorb the juices.
Carefully lift out dolmades and refrigerate before serving. Serve with chilled yoghurt. Greek, of course.