Making dolmadakia, stuffed grape leaves, is not as difficult as you might think. The little stuffed bundles are usually served as an appetizer.
1/4 cup olive oil (or half olive, half vegetable oil) - divided use
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 pounds chopped cooked lamb, beef or chicken
2 1/2 cups sliced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped pine nuts or cashews
2 tablespoons dried dill weed
1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (reserve stalks)
1/2 cup lemon juice - divided use
2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) jars grapevine leaves, about 120 total
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup tomato juice
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add onion and cook over low heat until onion is soft but not brown. Remove from heat. Stir in rice, meat, nuts, herbs, 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Rinse grape leaves to remove brine. Drain thoroughly. Place leaves, shiny side down and veins up, on work area. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of rice mixture in center of each leaf. Starting at stem end, fold in bottom part of leaf. Fold sides in; then roll tightly toward point.
- Place parsley stalks (or rack) in bottom of Dutch oven or large skillet. Arrange Dolmadakia snugly on top. Make second layer. Sprinkle with remaining oil and lemon juice. Add broth and tomato juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 35 to 40 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
Makes about 9 cups filling, or enough for about 120 dolmadakia.
Recipe provided courtesy of USA Rice Federation.