Dolmadakia Yialandji (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Why I Love This Recipe
This recipe is from my favorite ethnic cookbook, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF GREEK COOKING, published by the Recipe Club of Saint Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead, New York. I will die a happy person if I get time to try every recipe in the book. The problem is I love everything so much, I keep making the same recipes, so I'll need to stick around forever I guess! These dolmas are the best I've tasted, maybe because I use fresh herbs from my garden and their preparation fills the kitchen with the lovely aroma of rice and dill. Mmmmm.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 c minced onion (the original recipe calls for 2 cups)
1 tsp salt
1 cup rice (uncooked)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch chopped scallions (the original recipe calls for 3 cups)
6 T lemon juice
1/2 c chopped parsley--reserve stems and larger leaves to line the pot
1/2 c chopped dill--reserve these stems for lining the pot, too
salt and pepper to taste
1 12-oz jar grape leaves (fresh grape leaves may be used but they require special preparation and I have never been industrious to find & prepare them)
parsley and lemon wedges for garnish
Sweat onion over very low heat with 1 tsp. salt for 5 to 10 minutes until wilted. Increase heat and add rice, 1/2 c. of the olive oil, scallions, and 1-1/2 T. lemon juice. Saute for 2 minutes. Add parsley, dill, salt, and pepper. Saute for 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Wash the grape leaves under cold running water to thoroughly remove all brine. Separate leaves carefully. Remove the thick stem portions. Cut large leaves in half. Place 1 T. filling on underside of leaf. Starting at base, fold over, and fold in sides, rolling tightly toward the point of the leaf.
Place parsley and dill stalks on the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan. Arrange dolmadakia in layers. Add the remaining 1/4 c. oil and 1-1/2 T. lemon juice. Weigh down the domadakia with a heavy plate. Cover with boiling water to the level of the plate. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove the plate and sprinkle 3 T fresh lemon juice over the domadakia. Let cool thoroughly in pot. Remove to a serving plate and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges