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.
A different style filling, kind of sweet. A nice change but not a repeat for us. I don't have a steamer so I cooked ours in the style of Dolmathakia Stuffed Grape Leaves, a recipe we adore, using less olive oil in the cooking liquid, and a little along with the butter called for in this. I followed the ingredients exactly other than that addition. Like French bunny, I found this made more filling than 25 dolmas. Made for Veggie Swap 31 ~ February 2011.
The stuffing of these Dolmas were absolutely wonderful. The currents added a very distinct flavor that made them stand out with a real nice sweetness. I had made 36 rolls but some of them were pretty tiny unfortunately. I had bought a very good brand of grape leaves in brine in a jar but lots of them were ripped and useless and they were really hard to unroll. There were not many large leaves but I had to use what the jar contained or I would of had none. Last time I buy that brand. I had soaked the leaves in cold water for 20 minutes to soak then unrolled and rinsed each leaf off under running cold water. Put the shiny part of leaf down and the veins side up. Kept out the amount I wanted for lunch the next day and I froze the rest. I even bought a little machine from Turkey to roll them but don't have the hang of the machine yet, was wasting more time practicing and gave up, was quicker to roll by hand. A very yummy recipe Sharon and thanks for sharing. Made these to go along with Tzatziki and Keftedes ( Greek Meatballs) and Greek Antipasto Delicious all together. Made in memory of Sharon's DH