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Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades)

What you need: 

1 medium onion, minced finely
1 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup boiling water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup tomato juice or sauce
3 tablespoons raisins, minced finely
3 tablespoons pine nuts, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon salt
50 grape leaves in brine, rinsed in cool water or fresh, steamed
1 cup water

What you do: 

1. Simmer onion in 1/2 cup olive oil until clear, not browned. Add rice, boiling water or broth, tomato juice or sauce, raisins, pine nuts, herbs, and salt.
2. Cook for 20 minutes (rice will be 1/2 cooked). Allow rice mixture to cool! Fill each grape leaf with 1 1/2 tablespoons rice mixture and wrap like a burrito (tuck in the sides and roll from the base of the leaf towards the tip of the leaf), making sure rice will not leak out.
3. Roll Dolma about the thickness of your index finger (You should end up with something that looks like a short cigar). Save torn or tough leaves to place on top of Dolmades as they simmer.
4. Place Dolmades tightly together in a well seasoned iron skillet. Pour the remaining 1 cup water and 1/2 cup olive oil over the Dolmades. Cover with saved leaves and lid.
5. Simmer gently for 30 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Dolmades can be served hot or cold.

Preparation Time: 
1 hour
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
8-10
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I made these for my housewarming party and they were a total hit.  I'd never made dolmas before and this was fun (though slightly time consuming). I added in some lemon juice during the final simmer and also served with a little lemon juice on top. Will make again!!!

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