Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Yield
12 servings (serving size: 3 stuffed grape leaves)

This classic Mediterranean dish makes a great party hors d'oeuvre. Brined flavor comes from both the grape leaves and the salty feta cheese.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse grape leaves with cold water; drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. Remove stems; discard.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add yellow onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add green onions and almonds; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add rice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 22 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; cool. Stir in cheese, parsley, mint, and dill.

Step 3

Spoon 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons rice mixture onto center of 1 grape leaf. Bring 2 opposite points of leaf to center; fold over filling. Beginning at 1 short side, roll up leaf tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining rice mixture and 35 grape leaves. Place 12 stuffed grape leaves, seam sides down, in large saucepan lined with 3 grape leaves. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and 1 tablespoon juice. Top with 12 stuffed grape leaves; drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and 1 tablespoon juice. Repeat procedure with remaining 12 stuffed grape leaves, 1 teaspoon oil, and 1 tablespoon juice. Cover with remaining 3 grape leaves; pour remaining 1 cup water over leaves. Invert a small heatproof plate on top of leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat, and let stand in saucepan 2 hours. Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges and yogurt, if desired.

Step 4

Wine note: The piquant quality of grape leaves calls for a wine with good acidity to match, while the salty feta needs something thirst-quenching and bright. Boutari Santorini 2008 ($18) is a natural choice. --Jeffery Lindenmuth

Ratings & Reviews

michelescott's Review

nicolecorsi
December 26, 2013
This is the worst recipe I have ever seen. Grape leaves are simple with minimal ingredients. All that is needed to make extra ordinary grape leaves are fresh leaves,lamb,rice, salt, allspice and water. Period!

nicolecorsi's Review

tanamarin
June 07, 2011
I am not a fan of the grape leaves, but I made these for my husband one Sunday and he said that they were awesome. Assembling is a little tricky and I had to add more water to the pot because I was using a very heavy pan, but the results were obviously worth it. This recipe is a labor of love!

tanamarin's Review

michelescott
December 17, 2010
These are time consuming to make, but delicious!