Serves a lot!
Prep Time: 2hrs
Cooking Time: 50′
What you need:
- 1 x 500g Jar of Grapevine Leaves in Brine (or Fresh if you’re lucky to get them)
- ½ Cup of short grain rice (I use Egyptian White Rice)
- 1 bunch of Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, leaves only, washed, dried and finely chopped (Approximately 1 ½ cups of chopped parsley)
- 2 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Small/Medium Onion (white or brown), finely diced
- Juice of 1 Lemon (or more to taste)
- 4 to 5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt to taste
- 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Ground White Pepper
Grapevine leaves are also knows as dolmades, a popular Greek dish, but very common in the Middle East and especially in Lebanon.
It truly is a delicacy!
Remove the grapevine leaves from the jar, separate them and let them drain in a big colander. Don’t worry about drying them, you can work with them wet.
Prepare the stuffing. Mix together the rice, parsley, tomatoes and onion with all the dressing ingredients. You can taste and season further to your taste. I must admit I love a lemony stuffed vine leaf!
Before I start filling the leaves, I cut some thick potato slices and put them at the bottom of the pot that I’m going to use, to avoid the leaves from sticking to the bottom, and also these potato slices are probably the best thing you can ever eat!
Now here comes the long part, I suggest you sit at a table and do this because it might take up to an hour.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to stuff and roll a vine leaf:
When I have a good batch, I start filling the pot. It’s best to start in the middle then work your way towards the sides. And don’t be afraid to squeeze them onto each other, you don’t want them to be loose when covered with water.
Now that the first layer is finished, keep repeating until you’re done!
Cover with water and put a plate on top to keep them from “swimming”.
Season the water with some salt and cook until it starts boiling, then reduce the heat and cook for about 50 minutes.
Remove the plate, try one, if it’s done and there’s still some water, put the plate back on and drain the water out.
You can either flip the whole pot onto a plate, it looks authentic.
Or if you’re like me and you probably ate half of the pot before it reaches the plate, then just decorate any plate the way you want!
It’s true this dish is sort of a pain and time consuming, but is so worth it, trust me!
If you want to impress your guests you gotta make this!