By The Shahrouk sisters
Difficulty not too difficult
Cooking time more than 2 hours
Serves 10 or more
Now this is how you vine leaf… perfect Lebanese finger food
1 cup medium grain rice, washed in cold water 2-3 times
2 ripe red tomatoes, finely diced
1 sprig shallot or spring onion, finely diced
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 small red chilli, finely diced
1/3 cup pure olive oil
juice of 3 lemons
½ jar vine leaves (approx. 32-36 leaves)
2 large washed potatoes, sliced 3mm thick
2 carrots, sliced 3mm thick
cracked black pepper
1. Place washed rice, tomatoes, shallots, onion and chilli in a bowl. Pour over olive oil and lemon juice, season with sea salt and cracked pepper and mix to combine.
2. Rinse the vine leaves and layer in a strainer. Take one leaf at a time (or take 2 and layer them to make a bigger leaf, if they are small) and place it onto a flat board, with the stalk of the leaf pointing down and vein side of the leaf visible, facing out. Place 1 heaped tablespoon of filling in the centre of the leaf and fold the leaf from the stem end over the filling just to encase. Then fold the sides into the parcel, whilst rolling up to create a roll 5cm long and around 2cm diameter. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.
3. Arrange sliced potato and carrot in the base of a large saucepan or small stock pot. Arrange the vine leaf rolls on top, fitting them in tightly in one layer and drizzle over any excess liquid from the filling bowl.
4. Pour over 1 cup of water, place a large flat plate on the leaves and place a heavy bowl on top to weigh down the rolls.
5. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 90 minutes. Check the water level occasionally and add more water, if required to ensure vine leaves are covered in water.
6. Once cooked, remove from heat and leave to cool in the pot. Remove weights and serve. Alternatively, transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Image and recipe courtesy of the Shahrouk sisters for Family Food Fight