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.