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Another Greek recipe thet I've collected. This one is from a 1980 Bon Apetit magazine that featured a Easter Feast from the Greek Islands with featured Greek chef Theonie Diakkidis Mark who was born on the island of Rhodes.Try to use the fresh dill weed for a superior flavor! These may be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated or frozen until needed.
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb lean ground lamb
- 1⁄2 cup short-grain rice
- 1⁄2 cup fresh dill, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1⁄3 cup pine nuts
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 (1 quart) jar grape leaves, in brine, well rinsed and drained, stems cut off
- 3⁄4 cup rich chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced (garnish)
- Heat oil in large skillet.
- Add onion and saute until transparent but don't brown.
- Add meat, stirring to break into pieces.
- Add rice,dill,pine nuts, water and tomato paste; season to taste with pepper.
- Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Cover bottom of Dutch oven with layer of the smaller grape leaves and any that get torn in the process of rolling.
- Stuff remaining leaves by placing leaf shiny side down, on the palm of hand, with base of leaf toward wrist and tip of leaf toward middle finger.
- Put a spoonful of meat mixture in the center.
- Fold base of leaf over stuffing, then fold sides of leaf over (like an envelope), tucking edges in snugly.
- Arrange tip side down in pan.
- Add broth to within 1 inch of top layer; use any leftover leaves to cover top layer.
- Place plate upside down over top layer and press.
- Cover and cook over medium heat until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and cook 5 minutes longer.
- Let cool to room temperature, or chill thoroughly.
- Garnish with lemon slices and serve.
- *The stuffed grape leaves can be prepared 2 to 3 days before serving and refrigerated or they may be frozen, If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then add a little broth or water before gently reheating in a pan.