Raisin, Walnut and Sardine-Stuffed Grape Leaves
- 5 or 6 grape leaves in water
- 1 or 2 medium-large pieces of sardines in water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp. crushed walnuts
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1/8 nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 cup water, ½ cup reserved
- ¼ cup long-grain rice
How to roll and make the grape leaves
- In a medium bowl, soak the grape leaves in cold water. Let rest.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine rice, seasonings, walnuts and sardines. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the EVOO on medium high and add the onions. Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes till brown.
- Add the rice mixture to the skillet and sauté for an additional 2 or 3 minutes. Lower to medium-low heat.
- Add the water and let cook till water boils away. Stir occasionally for about 12 or 15 minutes.
- When rice is cooked, remove from heat and let cool. (Can be prepared 1 or 2 days before needed.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Take one leaf from cold water and lay it shiny side down on a cutting board or work surface.
- Place 2 teaspoons of cooled rice mixture at the base of the grape leave closest to you.
- Next, fold the sides of the grape leaves a quarter of the way to the middle and start to roll up away from you.
- Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the remaining leaves.
- Place (packed tightly) in a baking pan.
- Cover with half of reserved water and cover with foil tightly.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Serve on dish with kalamata olives and lemons.
Stuffed leaves can be stored in fridge just covered with olive oil to preserve them for up to a week after production.