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Dolmas - Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves

1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 green onions, including green tops, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
16 oz jar grape leaves
several stems of fresh parsley
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup homemade chicken stock, canned chicken broth, or water, heated
Additional freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated or minced lemon zest for garnish

Wash and drain rice. Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a skillet over
medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and saute until soft but
not brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the
drained rice, 1/2 cup of the remaining olive oil, green onions,
parsley, pine nuts, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Rinse the grape leaves under running cold water to removes as much
brine as possible, pat dry, and stack on a plate. Place 1 leaf at
a time, shiny side down, on a flat work surface. Cut off and discard
the tough stem end. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of the rice mixture in the
center near the base of the leaf. Fold the stem end over to cover
the filling, fold both side inward lengthwise and then tightly roll
leaf toward pointed tip end to form a compact packet. Repeat with
the remaining leaves and filling.

Pour about 2 Tbsp. of the remaining olive oil in the bottom of a
large pot and strew with a layer of parsley stems to prevent grape
leaves from sticking. Arrange the stuffed leaves, seam side down
and almost touching, on top of the parsley, making as many layers
as necessary.

Drizzle the remaining 5 Tbsp olive oil, the lemon juice, and 1/2
cup stock, broth, or water over the leaves. Top with a heat-resistant
plate and weight with a heavy can to keep leaves from unwinding
during cooking. Cover the pot, bring to a gentle boil, reduce the
heat to low, and cook until rice is tender, about 1 hour. During
cooking, add a little heated liquid as needed to keep dolmas moist.
Remove from the heat and cool in the pot. Sprinkle with lemon juice
to taste, garnish with lemon zest, and serve at room temperature.


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