I love vegan rolled grape leaves made the Lebanese way. I will share how I observed my mother making them over the years. Since it’s a vegan dish we eat it cold even straight out of the fridge.
You will need:
- 1 or 2 potatoes to cover the bottom of the pan
- A jar of picked grape leaves (I buy it from a Mediterranean store)
- Mix 1 cup of lemon juice with 1/4 cup olive oil and a teaspoon of salt to add to the pot before cooking
- 1 TBSP of olive oil to spread on the bottom of the pan
- A cutting board, 2 bowls and a medium non-stick pot
For the filling:
The filling is the same as for tabouli minus burghul, plus rice:
- Fresh parsley ( about 3 bunches washed and diced in small oieces)
- Slicing Tomatoes (depending on size, about 2, diced)
- Rice ( 1 cup rinsed)
- Fresh mint (a handful diced) if available otherwise dried (1 TBSP)
- Onions (1 big diced in small pieces)
- Freshly squeezed lemon Juice (to taste, I probably use 1/2 cup)
- Olive Oil (about 1/2 cup )
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
Add the salt and pepper to the onions and squeeze them. Add to bowl along with the other filling ingredients and mix well. Set aside. Open the jar of grape leaves and take out 2 rolls into a medium size bowl. Rinse a couple of times to get rid of the salty flavor. Set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut them horizontally in half then slice each half into quarters. Add 1 TBS of olive oil to the bottom of the pot, spread it well then line the bottom of the pot with the potato slices.
Set Up To Roll
I like to use a cutting board to roll the grape leaves. Set a cutting board on a table or working surface. Put the filling on its right, the lined pot and the rinsed grape leaves behind it or to your right as convenient to you.
When you finish, pour the lemon juice and olive oil mixture over the pot. Cover the grape leaves with a ceramic plate or one that can withstand the cooking heat, then cover with the pot’s cover and cook on low heat for about 90 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. The plate is optional but I recommend using it to keep the grape leaves from expanding. It keeps pressure on them to cook as they are.