Yield: Approximately 12-14 pieces
20 bottled grape leaves (Found in gourmet specialty stores)
1 cup cooked white rice
1 pound ground lean sirloin or lamb
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped, fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
||Unroll and separate the grape leaves, setting aside the large, tough ones to line the bottom of the pot. Rinse with water to remove any brine.
||Drop the leaves into a kettle of boiling water and boil gently for two minutes only. Remove carefully with a slotted spatula to avoid tearing. Drain and remove any stems. Line them up, shiny side down on a flat surface.
||Combine the rest of the ingredients. Place a spoonful about 1 inch from the stem end and roll it up over itself one time. Fold the sides over the center and finish rolling it up to the end. Each roll will be approximately 1 2 inches to 2 inches long. Two smaller leaves can be placed halfway over each other to create 1 large.
||Place the reserved coarse leaves on the bottom of a wide bottom large pot or Dutch oven. Place the stuffed leaves over, flap down, snugly together. Create as many layers as necessary. Add 2 cups water and a little salt. Place a heavy heat-proof plate on top, weighing it down with a rock or brick. Simmer gently for one-half hour. Serve hot with egg and lemon sauce. (Recipe, page )
|NOTE: Grape leaves may be filled with Vegetable Stuffing, page