Here’s a vegetarian version of the famous stuffed grape leaves! Lebanon is not only known for it’s kibbeh and chicken and rice, but it’s also known for having some pretty delicious vegetarian dishes. Traditionally, many Lebanese people would not eat meat on specific days mainly for religious reasons. As a result, people found ways to make their favorite meals without the meat but with the same amount of flavor.
For this recipe, instead of stuffing your grape leaves with meat and rice, you will be stuffing it with tomatoes, onions, and some other yummy spices. Enjoy!
1 Tomato – (1/2 cup or 1 medium) – finely diced
1 Jar of Grape Leaves (16 oz) – rinsed
1 Onion (Medium size) – finely diced
2 and a 1/4 cups of washed Rice (brown or white)
Parsley (1/2 cup) – chopped
Salt – 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
Lemon – Half
*Some people have also added chick peas to their mixture. If you choose to, add about 1/4 cup of chick peas and use 2 cups of rice (instead of 2 1/4 cups).
1. Add rice to a bowl along with tomato, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil and mix it well (Eva mixes with her hands)
2. Clip the stems off of the grape leaves before stuffing
3. Take a piece of foil paper and line bottom of a medium or large pot and add layer of unrolled grape leaves to cover (helps to keep grape leaves at bottom from burning)
4. To begin rolling, add small amount of mixture to center of the grape leave (the rough side). Fold top part (side where you cut off stem) over rice mixture, then bring the right side over to center, the left side over to the center, and keep leaf flat and roll. Tuck leaf in as you roll to keep the shape.
5. Add grape leaves to pot in a circular pattern, starting with the outer part of the pot and make rows until you reach the center (or if you have a pot that is smaller like ours, you will only have one roll around and the rest in the center). *Don’t pack the grape leaves too tight, be sure to give them some room to cook
6. Drizzle small amount of olive oil and add a couple dashes of salt to the top of grape leaves. Cover the top with a small glass plate
7. Add 4 cups of water to pot (amount may vary depending on pot size). Use enough water to cover grape leaves and half of your plate
8. Turn stove on medium high heat and bring to boil
9. Once boiling, let simmer on low and cover for 25 minutes.
10. After 25 minutes, remove the plate and partially cover pot with top until water has completely evaporated
11. Once the water has evaporated, squeeze half a lemon on top of grape leaves and turn the stove off
Let grape leaves cool before serving. Can be served warm, at room temperature, or refrigerated. Sahtan! 🙂
Source: Eva’s Lebanese Cooking