Celebrate Fresh Friday with Stuffed Grape Leaves!
Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Figs with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
Submitted by Diane Nemitz
* Makes approximately 40 - 50 stuffed grape leaves *
- One jar grape leaves (about 50 leaves)
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dried figs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp dried mint
- 1 Tbsp dried dill weed
- 2 finely chopped green onions
- 3 Tbsp citrus flavored olive oil
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- Juice and zest of one half lemon
- 1/4 cup shredded cucumber
Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Spray a deep oven-proof baking dish with cooking spray. Place grape leaves in large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soften for three or four minutes, then remove and carefully unroll them. (May line bottom of baking pan with broken bits of leaves).
Prepare the filling by sautéing rice and pine nuts in olive oil, then add three cups water, figs, mint, dill weed and green onions. (I then transfer to rice cooker) Cover pan and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Allow stuffing to cool, then stuff grape leaves as follows:
Place heaping tablespoon of filling on leaf. Cover with bottom portion of leaf, fold insides and continue to roll until filling is completely enclosed. Place close together in layers in baking pan. When pan is filled, drizzle with citrus flavored olive oil, cover with hot water and cover the pan. (Use foil if pan does not have its own cover). Bake for about one hour. Cool before serving. May be served at room temperature or cold. Serve with lemon-yogurt sauce which has been prepared by combining yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest and cucumber. (allow sauce to stand for 15 minutes to combine flavors, but do not prepare too far in advance)
These are wonderful party appetizers!