Here’s a recipe for stuffed grape leaves, also known as Dolma:
- 1 jar of grape leaves (about 40-50 leaves)
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the cooking liquid:
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Rinse the grape leaves under cold water to remove any brine or excess salt. Place them in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow them to soak for about 15-20 minutes to soften.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, chopped parsley, mint, dill, pine nuts (if using), onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
- Drain the grape leaves and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Take one grape leaf and place it flat on a clean surface. Remove the stem if it’s still attached. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the rice mixture onto the center of the leaf, near the stem end.
- Fold the bottom of the leaf over the filling, then fold the sides inward, and roll it up tightly like a burrito. Repeat this process with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
- Line the bottom of a large pot with a few unused grape leaves to prevent the stuffed grape leaves from sticking to the pot.
- Arrange the stuffed grape leaves in the pot, seam side down, in a single layer. Place them snugly together to prevent them from unraveling during cooking.
- Prepare the cooking liquid by combining the vegetable or chicken broth with the lemon juice. Pour the liquid over the stuffed grape leaves until they are fully submerged.
- Place a heat-resistant plate or a smaller pot lid upside down on top of the stuffed grape leaves. This will help keep them in place while cooking.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the grape leaves simmer gently for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the rice is cooked and tender.
- Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let the stuffed grape leaves cool down slightly before serving.
- Serve the stuffed grape leaves warm or at room temperature as an appetizer or part of a meze platter. You can garnish them with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with tzatziki sauce or plain yogurt on the side.
Enjoy your homemade stuffed grape leaves!