Yalanchi (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
|Grape leaves||40 (1 Jar Of Young, Tender Leaves)|
|White rice||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Water/Stock||3 Cup (48 tbs)|
|Extra virgin olive oil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Lemon juice||2 (I Like About 1/4 Cup Of Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice)|
|Pine nuts||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Nicoise olives||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Mint||3 1⁄3 Ounce, minced (1 Bunch)|
|Black pepper||To Taste|
|Yogurt||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (For Dipping)|
Start with the pilaf. Armenian pilaf should be never be sticky, so don’t be afraid to add some butter when making it. Rinse and unroll the leaves while the pilaf is cooking. Caramelize the onions in a pot using plenty of olive oil. When the onions are caramelized, add the rice and pine nuts and brown for about 1 minute. Add the hot stock or water to the pot, and perhaps a bit of butter. Cover immediately and turn down to low; simmer until the water is absorbed. The rice should be “half-cooked” at this point. While the rice is warm, add the olive oil, mint, salt and pepper. Stir and let cool.
Spoon one spoonful onto the center of each leaf and roll up like a present, tucking in the ends as you go. This can take some practice. The leaves should be tight and sealed. Save the damaged leaves to line the inside of the pot. Pack the leaves in a circular pattern, so that they are snug against each other and won’t move during the final cooking phase. Add lemon juice (not more than 1/4 cup) and water mixture to cover half of the leaves; the rest will steam. Add the olives. Cook on low heat, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Let cool for at least 20 minutes. Arrange on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with lemons and yogurt.
This recipe was excerpted from the book Everything I Eat Nourishes Me: A Cookbook for Body & Soul by Aline Fourier. To see more great stories and recipes from this book you can purchase her book at www.alinefourierstudio.com.