Adapted from the Field of Greens Restaurant which opened in San Fransisco Bay in 1979 and changed forever the image of vegetarian cooking. The dinner chef learned to make these on the Greek island of Mykonos and brought the recipe to the restaurant. The rice's spicy, sweet flavor is a perfect contrast to the pungent grape leaves. These dolmas are surprisingly easy to make! Serve with wedges of lemon and some kalamata olives.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup long grain white rice (or use long grain brown rice)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon (preferably fresh ground)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, zest and juice of (about 2 tbls. juice)
- 1⁄4 cup dried currant (or use raisins)
- 1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts
- black pepper (or a 5 pepper mixture)
- 20 -25 grape leaves packed in brine
- extra virgin olive oil
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add 1 teaspoons salt, then stir in the rice, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and lemon zest. Allow pot to return to a boil, then cover and cook over low heat until the rice is just tender, 15-20 minutes(a littlemore for brown rice). The rice should be slightly undercooked at this point, since it will cook a little more when the dolmas steam.
- Move the rice to a bowl and, while it is still hot, toss with the currants(or raisins), pine nuts, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Rinse and drain the grape leaves, pat them dry, and snip off the stems; spread them out on a work surface. Pack 1 tbls. rice in your hands to compress it and place in the center of each grape leaf. Fold in the bottom and the two sides, then roll toward the top until the entire grape leaf has been rolled.
- Brush the dolmas lightly with a little olive oil and set in a steamer basket. Place the steamer over boiling water, cover, and steam for 3-5 minutes, until heated through.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.