Grape leaves stuffed with bulgur, apricots and mint
- 14 grape leaves, rinsed and dried
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- mint leaves and lemon slices for garnish (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup (packed) dried apricots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- In heavy medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil.
- Stir in bulgur.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine lentils with enough water to cover by 1 inch.
- Gently boil, uncovered, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes.
- Drain well and set aside.
- In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add raisins, apricots, mint, cinnamon and allspice.
- Stir in bulgur and lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To fill grape leaves
- Place one leaf flat on work surface with veins facing upward.
- Place 2 teaspoons filling in middle of leaf close to stalk end.
- Fold bottom of leaf over and each side in to enclose filling.
- Roll up firmly toward point.
- Place roll in the palm of hand and give a slight squeeze to form a firm shape.
- Repeat procedure with remaining leaves and filling.
- Arrange stuffed leaves, seam sides down, in medium skillet.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and enough water to cover leaves.
- Cover pan and cook over low heat for 1½ to 2 hours or until tender.
- Add extra water to skillet as necessary.
- Allow leaves to cool, covered, in skillet.
- Transfer to a serving dish and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Serve garnished with lemon and mint if desired.