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A yummy Middle Eastern recipe. A perfectly stuffed Arabian grape leaf is a thing of beauty, and this version can be found throughout the Gulf. After slowly simmering in a bath of olive oil and lemon juice, they are plump, tart and silky rich. Inside is a glory of rice, laced with fresh mint and parsley, and a smattering of tomatoes and green onion. Ask anyone in Qatar – stuffed grape leaves must be made with loving hands, not purchased. So here ya go! Qatar is bordered by Saudia Arabia and the Persian gulf. From Global Table Adventures.
- 40 -50 grape leaves (1 jar grape leaves in vinegar brine, drained)
- 1 1⁄2 cups rice
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 potatoes, sliced
- 2 -3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 3⁄4 cup lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- olive (black or green)
- tomato, sliced
- For the filling, mix together a fresh collection of rinsed but raw rice, tomatoes, green onion, mint, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Most recipes have you cook the rice ahead of time, but I found some that use raw rice and I love how it eliminates several steps and dirty dishes.
- Now all you need to do is wiggle those stubborn grape leaves out of the jar and begin wrapping them up.
- To do so, place leaf backside up and place a small spoonful of filling by the stem end.
- Begin to roll the leaf from the stem end. After about one roll, fold in the left and right sides.
- Continue rolling. You don’t need to make them super tight because the rice needs room to expand as it absorbs the liquid.
- Add potato slices to bottom of pot.
- Add the grape leaves. Stack them tightly together, making one neat layer on top of another.
- Next, top with tomato slices.
- Pour on the olive oil and any juices at the bottom of the bowl that held the rice.
- Cover with a plate to keep the grape leaves from floating and unrolling, then top off with a lid.
- Simmer gently for about one hour.
- This will allow the potatoes at the bottom of the pot to get a nice crust.
- Add the lemon juice and cook an additional hour (or to taste).You are looking for the rice to be tender inside of the grape leaves. Cut one open to check.
- I’ve seen several recipes that cook them for upwards of three hours, so don’t despair if yours needs longer.
- Arrange them on a plate.
- Pile some of the lemony potatoes in the center.
- Garnish with the cooked and sliced tomatoes, as well as a few olives.