Dolmathes, or stuffed grape leaves, are a favorite vegetarian appetizer.
Adapted from Café Nostimo.
Makes 6 servings (about 2 dozen stuffed grape leaves)
1 (16 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
juice of 2 lemons, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ cup parsley, chopped
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Drain and rinse grape leaves from jar. Layer the bottom of a large pot with some of the grape leaves.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together rice, 1/3 cup of the oil, onion, juice of 1 of the lemons, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper.
3. Roll the dolmathes: On a work surface, place one leaf, shiny side down. Add 1 teaspoon of the rice filling at the bottom (stem end). Do not overfill dolmathes, as the rice will expand during cooking. Fold bottom of leaf over filling, fold in two sides and roll tightly. Place stuffed leaves fold side down on the bottom of the pot. You want to fit stuffed leaves tightly together. Work around the pot from the outside to center.
4. Drizzle stuffed leaves with remaining 2/3 cup oil and remaining lemon juice. Place an inverted plate on top of rolled leaves to hold them down while they are cooking. Pour just enough water into pot to cover them. Place lid on pot and simmer over medium- high heat until all the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature.