Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves
Originally uploaded by kel h
Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

I love me some stuffed grape leaves, but I always thought it would be too complicated. Pshaw! Can you make a burrito? Can you get too much rice with your indian takeout? Can you stir? Than YOU can make stuffed grape leaves

BTW, it it me, or does every culture have some sort of burrito/sandwich/roll type food?

Wara Einab or Dolma/Cold Stuffed Grape Leaves
Adapted from Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food a Borzoi Book, published by Alfred A. Knopf

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


24 – 30 preserved or fresh grape leaves.
1¼ cups (300 ml) (9 oz) (250 gm) long grain rice
1- 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped or 4 tablespoons (60 ml) (35 gm) finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (25 gm) finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) crushed dried mint
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) ground allspice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6½ gm) dill
Salt and pepper
2 tomatoes, sliced **optional**
3 or 4 cloves garlic
2/3 cup (160 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
Juice of 1 lemon or more

(I didn't have mint so I used 1 tsp of dried basil, and I didn't have allspice so I used allepo pepper instead. I sped things up a bit and used some leftover rice from indian last friday, which was great because when they simmered the rice got soft. Getting the grape leaves was fun because it gave me an excuse to drive to Watertown and hit up the Armenian market. I also got pomegranate molasses I plan to use in cupcakes)

at the Armenian Market you can get all sorts of fun stuff at the armenian market


If using grape leaves preserved in brine, to remove salt put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Make sure that the water penetrates well between the layers, and leave them soaking for about twenty minutes, then change the water a time or two using fresh cold water.

If using fresh leaves, plunge a few at a time in boiling water for a few seconds only, until they become limp, and lift them out.


1.Pour boiling water over the rice and stir well, then rinse with cold water and let drain.

2.Mix the rice with the chopped tomatoes, onion or scallion, parsley, mint, cinnamon, allspice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.

3.Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up.

Step one, get a leaf

4.Place about two teaspoons (10 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaf, near the stem edge.

step two, add your filling

5.Roll the leaf end to end, starting from the stem edge. As you roll, fold the sides of the leaf in toward the center. The leaf should resemble a small cigar, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches (50 mm to 65mm) long.

Step three, roll up

step four, fold in the sides

6.Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

a.(You can freeze the stuffed grape leaves at this point. Just line a baking sheet with wax paper. When firmly frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag place back in the freezer.)

7.Pack the stuffed leaves tightly in a large pan lined with tomato slices or imperfect grape leaves Place a whole garlic clove in between them for extra flavor. The tightness will help prevent the rolls from unraveling.

Grape Leaves simmered in oil, lemon, and sugar

8.Mix together olive oil, 2/3 cup (160 ml) water, sugar and lemon juice and pour over the stuffed leaves. Put a small heat proof plate on top of the leaves to prevent them from unwinding, cover the pan and simmer very gently for about 1 hour, until the rolls are thoroughly cooked, adding water occasionally, a cup at a time, as the liquid in the pan becomes absorbed. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve cold.

Disected Stuffed Grape Leaves

I don't know why, but making these made me feel kinda badass :) Can't wait to see what's next


  1. Lovely step by step photos and I love that last picture well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. I am so glad that this challenge was right up your alley! And I love that it made you feel badass. :) Really great job!

  3. I'm pretty sure I gave a little arm flex myself when I was finished the first time. ;) I absolutely love your pictures, and not because they're glamorous or blah blah blah - I love the GLISTENING. That's how I know they were super tasty delicious. They glisten! Mmm...