SAVEUR editorial assistant Maria Xerakia’s family makes these traditional Greek stuffed grape leaves for Easter at their home in Brooklyn, New York.
- 1 (16-oz.) bottle of grape leaves, drained and unrolled
- 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 2⁄3 cup long-grain rice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp. minced fresh dill
- 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
- Bring a 5-qt. pot of water to a boil. Add grape leaves and cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes. Drain leaves, stem them, and set them aside.
- Heat 1⁄2 cup oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallions, and onions and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until it begins to toast, about 3 minutes. Add 1 3⁄4 cups water, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 minutes. Stir in dill, remove pan from heat, and let cool slightly.
- Cover the bottom of a 5-qt. pot with 3-4 grape leaves. Place remaining grape leaves on a work surface. Working with one grape leaf at a time, flatten leaf and place 2 tsp. rice mixture in the center. Fold the bottom side of the leaf over the rice mixture and then fold the right and left sides over the top. Roll package to create a tight cylinder and transfer stuffed grape leaf, seam side down, to the pot. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and rice mixture, fitting rolled packets snugly in the bottom of the saucepan. Whisk remaining oil, lemon juice, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl and add to the pot. Cover stuffed leaves with a small plate to keep them submerged; bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice filling is tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove plate and transfer stuffed leaves to a serving dish; pour some of the cooking liquid over the top and serve hot or at room temperature.