You know by now that I am not crazy about vegan dishes, but when I make one I make a killer, and I’ve done that in this vegan version of Stuffed Grape Leaves.
I understand the popularity of this side dish, I mean, who can resist the taste? The combination of ingredients is just perfect and the flavors coming from mint, parsley, tomato, potatoes, lemon, and olive oil just made this dish unique. Making these stuffed Grape leaves couldn’t be easier.
The only step that takes time because you must repeat it is the filling and rolling of the grapes, oh and I should be honest here, there is another step that might make you impatient and it’s waiting for the stuffed grape leaves to cook.
When you are, all done stuffing, rolling and cooking these stuffed grape leaves, you’ll realize that it was worth it. Stuffed grape leaves the vegan version, of course, is the most popular among people especially in the Middle East and it is lighter in calories too!
The recipe I’m sharing today is used in Lebanon, and I did mention before in many posts that Lebanese have a highly sophisticated taste in food. The list of appetizers from Lebanon alone can make you go, Gaga!
Making Stuffed Grape Leaves.
Let’s start making some mouthwatering treat, but let me mention this first. The stuffed grape leaves need to cool down before transferring it to a serving plate, when hot it is fragile and will break easily.
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- Use half the leaves in a jar
- 1 ¼ cup Egyptian short grain rice
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup mint chopped
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- 1 large tomato peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon allspice powder
- **For the bottom of the pan place thick slices of potatoes.
- ** 7 garlic cloves sliced in half to add on top of the stuffed grape leaves. optional
- Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
- Dip the leaves in hot water for one minute. Place the leaves on paper towel to remove excess water.
- If the leaves are thick then add the leaves to a boiling water, let the leaves boil for three minutes.
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients and let it set for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and keep the liquid aside to use later.
- Place the leaves on a working surface. Let the rough side of the leaf face you. Cut the stem if there is any.
- Depending on the size of the leaf, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the area above the stem. If the leaf is big you can place up to 1 full tablespoon.
- Fold the lower right section of the leaf over the filling, do the same to the left section.
- Fold the right section toward the center, do the same to the left section. Roll the leaf firmly toward the top.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with thick slices of potatoes. Place the stuffed leaves on top of the potatoes seam side down. Distribute the garlic cloves on top the stuffed grape leaves.
- When done, place a heat resistance plate that’s smaller than the pan on top of the leaves. Pour the liquid strained from the filling previously on the leaves. If the liquid doesn’t cover the plate then, pour enough room temperature water (make sure to season the water with salt) until the plate is covered with water.
- Cover the pan and let it come to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to the lowest and cook for two hours. Check every few minutes and if it needs more water add some but this time without seasoning it with salt.
- Let the stuffed leaves cool completely before removing from the pan, if you removed the stuffed leaves while hot, it might break.
- Place the stuffed leaves in an airtight container and store in the fridge.