Recipe provided by Portola Vineyards, pair with their 2012 Chardonnay!
This recipe makes about 80 grape leaves.
For the filling:
- 4 onions, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed until the water runs clear
- olive oil, salt
Saute the onions and the pine nuts in a few Tbsp of olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the parsley, saute a few more minutes until the parsley wilts. Add the tomatoes and a large pinch of salt and cook until the tomatoes cook down and thicken. Add the rice, mix together, and add 3 and 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-17 minutes. (Rice should be a little bit undercooked since it will cook longer when the leaves cook).
For the leaves:
- Blanch leaves for about 5 minutes in boiling water, then lay out on a towel with the vein side up and stuff them.
- After stuffing them, place the rolls in a pan very snugly. They must be snug in the pan or they will fall apart.
- Make the sauce: mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 cup water and 3/4 tsp salt. Pour this over the leaves
- Scatter whole cloves of garlic, dried apricots and prunes on top
- Weigh down with a plate and cover with a lid.
- Add more water if the sauce doesn't completely cover the leaves. It should just barely cover them.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.
Most important part: let the grape leaves sit overnight in the fridge before you eat them. The flavors need a bit to sink together, and they taste so much better the next day!
Happy cooking and eating!
Shannon worked as the Director of Operations for the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrower’s Association for approximately 13 years. Shannon has brought wine events of all kinds to the area in an effort to excite interest in the local wines and food. She loves watching people from all over enjoying the region’s wine and witnessing the local vintners businesses grow and prosper.