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In a large saucepan, gently fry the onions and cover until softened then add the garlic for anther 3 minutes. Add the rice, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest, raisins, pistachios and stir for 2 minutes until the rice is well coated. Pour the vegetable stock on top and simmer for 15 minutes until the rice is tender but still has bit and all the liquid has been absorbed. Take off the heat and leave until cool enough to handle then stir in the herbs.
Line a large casserole dish with a tight fitting lid with a double layer of vine leaves to protect the wrapped dolmades from burning.
To assemble, place a large vine leaf in your hand with the protruding veins on the underside of the leaf facing you. Depending on the size of the leaf, spoon 1 to 2 tsp of the mixture in a short sausage shape into the middle of the leaf. Fold each side over the stuffing and roll into a small, fat cigar shape. Place seam side down in the prepared casserole packing the dolmades close to each other and layering if needed. Cover with 250ml (9fl oz) water and the olive oil then layer with more vine leaves, weight it down with a plate and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and only oil remains.
- 2tbsp oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 500g (1lb 4oz) arborio risotto rice
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 100g (4oz) raisins
- 100g (4oz) pistachios, roughly chopped
- 2 lemons, juiced and zest of 1
- 850ml (1½pt) vegetable stock
- small bunch mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
- small bunch dill, finely chopped
- 1 large jar vine leaves in brine, rinsed
- 150ml (¼pt) olive oil
Top Tip for making Dolmades
Add left over roasted lamb, shredded finely, for a meaty version
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