2 cups Sunwhite Calrose/medium grain rice, soaked and drained
1 kg vine leaves, rinsed and stalks removed
1 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon raisin
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
½ teaspoon allspice, ground
Salt and pepper
After rinsing, soaking, and draining both the rice and the vine leaves, start preparing the stuffing.
Combine all the ingredients (except the vine leaves of course) in a large bowl and mix them well seasoning with salt and pepper.
Spread a vine leaf on a clean, flat surface and fill the center of it with 1 or 2 teaspoons of the stuffing (depending on the size of the leaf), then fold in the sides gently and roll up to wrap the filling making sure the wrapping is tight and the stuffing is totally enclosed. Repeat the same process with the rest of the stuffing and vine leaves.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pot over medium heat and arrange the stuffed vine leaves in layers, then add water to the pot covering the vine leaves. Weigh down the stuffed vine leaves with a plate facing the inside of the pot to prevent the leaves from disbanding.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the rice is soft and the stuffing is well-cooked.
Turn off the heat and leave the vine leaves from 5 to 10 minutes to rest and cool down then take out the weighing-down plate and place a new larger one over the pot and flip it upside down.
Serve hot with the stock resulting in the pot as a soup.