Stuffed Grape leaves are delicious little appetizers and although they are labor intensive, they are worth the effort. I choose to make an Armenian version without meat, however the filling opportunities are endless. It takes a few tries to get them rolled correctly but once you do, they go pretty quick. This recipe makes a lot 6 dozen, but you can freeze them.
Derevi Sarma Yalanchi ( Stuffed Grape Leaves)
- 1 jar grape leaves about 80
- 2 large white onions diced
- 1 cup medium grain rice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh mint chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- ¼ cup currants
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Saute onion in the oil for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the rice and lemon juice, cook over medium heat 10 minutes longer.
- Add in remaining ingredients and cook a few minutes longer. You do not want the rice to be completely cooked as it will expand after it is cooked in the grape leaves.
- Rinse and soak the grape leaves in hot water to remove the brine.
- Remove the stems
- Place a leaf with the shiny side down. Put 1 ½ tablespoons of filling at the stem end. Roll once, fold in the sides and roll the rest of the way. Try to get them as tight as possible
- In a large pot, place torn grape leaves to line the bottom, you can also use lettuce leaves if you don’t have enough grape leaves left.
- Pack the rolled grape leave close together, as many layers as needed.
- Add 3 cups water, put a heavy plate on top of the leaves to keep them from floating up
- Bring to a boil on medium high, taking care not to scorch the bottom.
- Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
- Allow to cool, and drain the liquid. Make sure you leave the cover on until completely cool or the leaves will discolor.
- Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges.