Dolmades

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Method

An Eastern Mediterranean appetizer, dolmades are vine leaves enclosing a rice filling. Buy the vine leaves in brine in packs or jars. One pack (227 g) makes about 35 dolmades. Make a filling of 1 chopped onion fried in olive oil and mixed with 125 g (4 oz) long grain rice, 3 tablespoons currants, 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh mint and fresh or dried dill, 2 tablespoons pine kernels, 150 ml (¼ pint) water, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Boil for 5 minutes.

  1. Drain and rinse the vine leaves in brine, then lay them out rib side up on a board. Put 1 teaspoon of filling at the stalk end of each leaf. Fold in the 2 sides to meet in the centre.

  2. Roll the vine leaf up, starting from the stalk end. Place join side down in a large shallow pan with a lid. Repeat with the remaining leaves, fitting the rolls close together in a single layer.

  3. Pour over water just to cover and the juice of ½ lemon and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Weigh down with a heatproof plate, cover and simmer 1 hour. Cool in the pan, then transfer to a plate.

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