Tuesday, August 23, 2005

~ August Cooking With Washington Wines~

We are just a couple of weeks away from harvest and crush. Now is the time to pluck some grape leaves (with owner's permission, of course, and pesticide free) from your neighborhood vineyard. A vegetarian recipe with an authentic flair. Enjoy stuffed grape leaves (dolmathes) with the area wines. Very versatile to pair with either white or a very fruit forward red wine. A Syrah or Counoise from Morrison Lane would accent the spice in the stuffing. Many thanks to my sister-inlaw, Rita for the delicious recipe.

Stuffed Grape Leaves
1 jar grape leaves or use blanched fresh leaves
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups broth

1 1/2 cups half cooked rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup pine nuts or slivered, blanched almonds
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Use the best leaves to be filled with the stuffing & the remaining can be used for lining the pan and between the layers. Drain leaves and rinse well with hot water. Cut off stems. Shiny side of leaf down, put about 1 tablespoon of stuffing on each leaf. Fold opposite ends towards the center, then roll up. Cover bottom of heavy deep skillet with leaves & arrange the rolls in it in layers, separating each layer with leaves. Add the mixture of broth, lemon juice, & tomato paste. Put a plate on top of the top layer to weight it down. Cover the pan. Cook over low heat 1-1/4 hours, or until tender.

Serve hot with plain yogurt or cold with lemon wedges. These little packages of goodness would make a wonderful appetizer served with feta cheese and kalamata olives on the side.

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