When it comes to cooking if there’s a shortcut available why not try it!? It had been seven years since I last made stuffed grape leaves or dolmas. And I remember why — they are slightly labor intensive but since I was eager to try them again I opted for a short cut: Rice-a-Roni!
Stuffed grape leaves are a standard Mediterranean classic. They can be made with or without meat. Also since they can be served warm or at room temperature they are a welcome addition to the weekend of barbecues and summer potlucks that await.
These are made without meat and make a great light snack!
- Grape Leaves, 34 from 1 8 ounce jar of 50 leaves
- Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
If using Rice-a-Roni Long Grain & Wild Rice
- 1 tbsp onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tbsp Basil, chopped
Sauté mushrooms, onions and basil till fragrant. Add Rice and prepare according to Less Fat Directions (normally located on side of box).
If using Parmesan & Romano Cheese
- Add 1 teaspoon of Allspice and prepare according to Less Fat directions (normally located on side of box).
Meanwhile, unwrap and separate grape leaves. Set aside torn or small leaves.
When rice is done, stir and set aside. On a separate plate or clean workspace and working with one grape leaf at a time (vein side up) place 1 tablespoon on rice in the center near stem. Fold up stem side and then sides. Roll up cigar style.
In a dutch oven or large pot place enough small grape leaves to cover bottom keep a few for later. Arrange stuffed leaves seam side down tightly in a single layer or two. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cover with remaining grape leaves. Pour in 1.5 to 2 cups of water and weigh down with a small plate. Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
Using tongs gently remove stuffed leaves and arrange on platter. Drizzle with lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.