This recipe was inspired by Tyler Florence, however I changed up the last part.
Be forewarned, this is a time consuming, labor intensive process. The result however is delicious, and well worth the effort.
Set aside half an afternoon (2-3 hours)
Step 1: You will need...
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 1/2 cup stock
- 2 tablespoons dill leaves
- 1/4 cup parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) jar grape leaves, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (additionally) stock
- 1/4 cup (additionally) extra-virgin olive oil
Step 2: Prepare the grape leaves
You then take the best leaves, and remove the stems.
After that, blanch them (boil them for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process).
After blanching, arrange them on a plate, 'glossy' side down.
Step 3: Prepare the stuffing (part one)
Dice the onion, and the fennel bulb, then get 1 teaspoon of lemon zest from one of the lemons.
If you don't have a zester, you can carefully scrape one of the peels of the lemons and julienne it (shown)
Saute these ingredients with the first 1/4 cup of the oil, until the onions start to become clear.
Step 4: Preparing the stuffing (part 2)
Stir until they're coated in the oil, and then add 1/2 cup of the stock.
Simmer until the rice absorb the stock.
Scrape the rice into a mixing bowl, and add in the dill and parsley.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to put together my salt and pepper in a cupcake cup, and add only how much I need. This lets me control the concentration however I want.