Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves is a mixture of short-grain rice, tomatoes, parsley, mint, onions, lemon juice and olive oil. Every culture makes vegetarian stuffed grape leaves differently, but this is the Lebanese recipe that I follow and it is awesome!
Vegetarian stuffed grape leaves make the healthiest snack or side dish. Use fresh grape leaves, if you have some, because they are more tender, but the jarred variety works fine. If you decide to use the jarred type, Orlando brand is my favorite. You can find them at any Mediterranean grocery store.
The freshly made stuffing mixture will be overly salty and sour (if you decide to taste), however after cooking and rolling the final product should come out just right!
- 40 grape leaves (small-medium size)
- 1 cup short-grain rice
- 2 cups parsley- Finely chopped with stems removed
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes- finely diced
- 1 small onion- finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint ( if available or dried)
- 1 tbsp salt or to taste
- 1 large lemon- squeezed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large potato ( peeled- sliced into circles)
TO MAKE THE STUFFING:
In large mixing bowl, combine parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, rice, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
TO PREPARE THE GRAPE LEAVES:
- Soak and rinse the jarred grape leaves with fresh water to get rid of any preservatives.
- Spread out your grape leaves on tray with rough side facing upwards, remove their small stems and get ready to roll!
- Add one tbsp olive olive oil to the bottom of a non-stick saucepan and arrange a layer of circled cut potatoes.
TO ROLL THE GRAPE LEAVES:
- Work with one grape leaf at a time, by adding one heaping table spoon of the mixture to the grape leaf; leaving 1 cm gap on each side.
- Fold both short edges first, 1/3rd of the way.
- Then roll the long edge from the top through the end of the leaf. (See step by step picture).
- A good grape leaf roll needs to be tight so that it doesn’t break apart during cooking.
- Place each rolled grape leaf in the bottom of the saucepan over the potatoes tightly side by side. You will form a few layers.
- Pour any remaining juice from the mixture (you should have plenty), but if not add add extra water until the stuffed rolled grape leaves are almost covered.
- Add a small (microwave-safe) plate on top of the stuffed grape leaves, facing downwards and leave in pot while cooking. The plate will keep the grape leave rolls in one place holding them tightly together.
- Cover the pot and cook on medium until it starts boiling, then reduce to low heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Let cool for a least half hour.
- Remove the the microwave-safe plate.
- Carefully take the grape leaves out one at a time and arrange them on your serving plate.
- Add slices of lemon and enjoy!
- Check out this other traditional vegetarian Lebanese dish!