Instead of making time-consuming dolmas, Leilani McCoy invented this flavorful pilaf with lamb.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 cup rinsed, chopped preserved grape leaves (reserve 2 tablespoons brine from jar)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup dried currants
How to Make It
Heat oil in a 4- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add lamb and onion and stir frequently until lamb is crumbly and browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add rice, grape leaves, parsley, dill, pine nuts, currants, reserved brine, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender to bite, 20 to 25 minutes.
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I like the idea of the dish but it lacked flavor. I added a bunch of spices (allspice, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, ginger, pepper and saffron) but it still was missing something. I think I would prefer if it had some type of sauce that was binding all the ingredients together.
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