Stuffed Grape Leaves (Yaprak Dolmas)
You can’t go wrong with these delectable and fun-to-make goodies.
They go well with just about anything, can be served as appetizers or main-dishes, and are especially fun to make with friends and family.
What You’ll Need
40 large or 60 small (1-pound jar) grape leaves
2 cups chicken broth or water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2½ cups chicken broth or water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped (about 1½ cups)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups long-grain rice
½ cup pine nuts / pistachios (coarsely chopped)
½ cup dried currants / raisins
¼ cup chopped fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley
1¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 whole garlic cloves
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (optional)
Begin by boiling the grape leaves for five minutes of salted water. Strain and set aside. If you’re working with canned, cooked leaves, you will need to rinse with water several times to get all of the oil out.
Now you’ll want to make the filling. After preparing the onions and heating the oil in a saucepan, combine and sauté, but do not overcook. You’re looking for a translucent, not golden brown, appearance. Next, sauté the minced garlic for about 1 minute, then add the rice and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Now is the time to stir in the spices and nuts. Next, add the broth and bring to boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is evaporated (15 minutes), and cool.
It’s time to stuff the grape leaves! After you’re done, add broth a second time (two cups), along with the garlic and lemon juice and sugar if so desired. Cook in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour. Then you’re ready to serve and enjoy!