1 Tablespoon kosher salt
4 cups water
1/2 jar (8 ounces) preserved grape leaves, or 2 dozen fresh young grape leaves
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely minced
2 Tablespoons fresh fennel, chopped finely
3 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and green
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
6 apricots, chopped into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
Prepare Grape Leaves: Trim tough stems from the grape leaves. In a small saucepan, bring salt and water to a boil. Add the grape leaves and simmer for 3 minutes. Cool in a bowl of cold water and then drain.
Make Filling: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the onions and fennel until soft, 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts, green onions, and rice and stir until the pine nuts are toasted and the green onions are soft, 2 minutes. Stir in apricots, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and 1 1/4 cups of water. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Stir in chopped parsley, mint and dill. Let mixture cool.
Assemble Grape Leaves: To shape the rolls, place a leaf, smooth side down, on a work surface and put a heaping Tablespoon of the filling near the base of the leaf at the stem end. Fold the stem end and sides over the filling and roll up toward the point of the leaf, making a little bundle that resembles a small cigar.
Cook Grape Leaves: Line a heavy large saucepan with a few leaves and place the fennel stalks and dill sprigs on the bottom. Sprinkle with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pack the rolls close together, seam side down. Sprinkle each layer with the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil and lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover the tops of the rolls with leaves. Invert a small heatproof plate or pot lid directly on top to help the rolls maintain their shape. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to sit until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Serve: Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with lemon wedges.
Recipe created by Parties That Cook®