Stuffed Vine Leaves

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time15 min
  • Serving Size4

    Ingredients

    • ½(680g) jar vine leaves in brine (approx 30 leaves) (see tip)
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 125g basmati rice, rinsed
    • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill or flat-leaf parsley
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Sun blush tomatoes and wedges of lemon to serve

    Method

    1

    1. Drain the vine leaves and carefully unravel until flat. Place in a colander and rinse under cold water. Leave to drain then cut away any tough pieces of stalk still intact. Remove one or two of the very broken leaves and set aside.

    2. While the leaves are draining, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

    3. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Pour over half of the lemon juice and enough water to cover the rice by just over 1cm (approx 200ml).

    4. Bring up to the boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer until all the water has just been absorbed and small holes appear on the surface of the rice. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Leave until cool. Stir in the dill or parsley and season well.

    5. Place a heaped teaspoon of rice at one end of a vine leaf, fold the sides over the rice and roll up into a ‘log’ shaped parcel. Repeat the process using all of the rice and vine leaves. You may need to use 2 leaves for one ‘parcel’ if they are small or very broken.

    6. Place the very broken leaves you set aside in the base of a large, heavy-based pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the remaining olive oil.

    7. Place the stuffed vine leaves, seam side down, side by side in the base of the pan. The stuffed vine leaves should be tightly packed and any that don’t fit placed on top of the base layer.

    8. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Place an upturned plate on top of the leaves (this will keep them from floating during cooking). Pour in enough water to cover the vine leaves. If the plate is not quite heavy enough place a small cup or bowl on top for extra weight.

    9. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and heat gently for 30-35 minutes until most of the water has evaporated.

    10. Drain off any remaining water and serve the stuffed vine leaves, warm or cold with sun blush tomatoes and wedges of lemon.

    (serves 4-6)

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