Dolmeh (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Grape leaves are stuffed with a beef, herb, and rice mixture in this slightly-sweet version of Iranian dolmeh.
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> scallions, chopped
- 2 cloves (about 1 tablespoon) garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cup split green peas
- <sup>2</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> cup basmati rice, rinsed
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup fresh dill, finely chopped
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. saffron threads
- Grape leaves, rinsed and stem removed
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup sugar
- Make the filling: Heat the oil in a 12-inch saucepan. Add onions, scallions, and garlic and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the beef and cook until browned, another 4 minutes. Add saffron, dill, and tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and rice along with 2 cups water. Cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley and cinnamon.
- Working with one leaf at a time, flatten leaf and place about 2 tablespoons rice mixture in center. Fold bottom of leaf over filling, fold in sides, and roll into tight cylinder. Lay extra leaves over bottom of a 6-quart dutch oven, and then tightly layer dolmeh, seam-side down, on top. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and sugar, and pour over the dolmeh. Cover tightly. Cook at medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before serving, preferably in the fridge overnight.
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