The bright green color of spring is gradually changing in a darker green. The vineleaves have grown already large enough to protect the future bunches of grapes against the burning sun. I really hope that I will not influence this precious process by stealing a few of those larger leaves for a try out recipe 🤫.
The first step is to wash the leaves and remove the stems. Parboil the leaves in salted water for approximately 3 minutes. Drain carefully ( the leaves have to remain intact ). Store the leaves in a large plastic bag in the freezer if you don’t use them immediately.
The second step is to prepare the filling. For 15 little packages I use 80 grams of risotto rice, 1 little onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 table spoons of raisins, 2 table spoons of pine nuts, 1 table spoon of fresh parsley, 1 table spoon of fresh Moroccan mint, cinnamon, chili powder, the juice of 1 lemon, pepper and salt.
Chop and fry the onion and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil. Bake and stir for a few minutes. Add the rice. Bake for a few minutes until glazy. Add the pinenuts, raisins, parsley, mint, a large pinch of cinnamon, a little pinch of chili powder, 1,5 table spoon of lemon juice. Bake for a few more minutes. The rice wilk remain hard. Cool down. Taste, add pepper and salt.
Put a large teaspoon on each leaf and create a small cigar.
Cover a low pan with remaining leaves or baking paper. Spread the stuffed vine leaves. Fill the pan with the leftover of the lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and water. Put a small plate on the stuffed vine leaves. Allow to simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes, until the rice is ready. Remove the stuffed vine leaves from the pan and spread them on a plate. Store in the fridge. Serve cool with low fat Greek yogurt seasoned with pepper and salt.