Dolmeh (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

July 17, 2010

From our June 2010 cooking group.

You can use jarred grape leaves, but fresh are preferable. If you are picking your own grape leaves, look for young leaves without blemishes or brown edges. Rinse and put in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. When soft, drain through a colander with cold water.

For 6-8 people- 50 grape leaves.

  • 1 c. basmati rice, cooked al dente
  • 1/3 c. yellow split peas, cooked al dente
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef, lamb, or chicken
  • Herbs – dill, mint, tarragon, savory, your choice. 1-2 tbsp each dried or 1/4 cup each fresh
  • 3.5 c. parsley, fresh – minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 fresh limes, juiced

Saute onion and garlic. Combine all ingredients except lime juice in a large bowl. Add the juice of 2 limes, and mix well.

To stuff the grape leaves: Put a grape leaf on a large plate, vein side up with the wide end towards you, pointy end away. Place a small amount of mixture close to the base nearest you. Fold the left and right sides of the leaf over the mixture and roll leaf away from you. As you roll, keep folding the sides in so that no filling is visible. As you get close to the end, just roll it all the way.

Prepare a deep, wide pot by adding 1-2 tbsp olive oil and approximately 1/4 cup water in the bottom.

As you roll your dolmeh, place them in the pot until they are tightly packed in the bottom of the pot, and then start piling them up in layers. When you have rolled all the dolmeh, try to space them so that the top layer is fairly evenly spaced.

Cover with the juice of 2 limes, add 1 tsp salt and enough water until you can see it. Place an inverted plate over the top, cover with a pot lid. Place over high heat. When the liquid begins to boil, turn down to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit until warm and liquids are somewhat absorbed. Serve either warm or cold.

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