First pickle grape leaves. You will need:
30-40 grape leaves, stems removed
1/4 cup lemon juice
Glass jar with lid*
*use canning jars if you are going to thoroughly "can," or process, the jars of leaves in boiling water
-Boil a large pot of water, adding enough salt to make it taste like the sea (really salty)
-Get a bowl of ice water ready
-Boil the grape leaves for about 1/2 a minute
-Plunge leaves in ice water
-Roll about 6 leaves at a time up into a "cigar" shape (roll across the leaves, not top to bottom)
-Pack leaves in jar, leaving some space at the top
-Boil 1 cup water in a small pan
-Add lemon juice to boiling water and boil for another minute
-Pour lemon water into jar, over leaves
-Put a lid on an stick it in fridge (if you'll be making the dolmades very soon), or process canning jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes
To Make Dolmades:
9 x 12 baking pan & aluminum foil
1 & 1/4 cups white short grain rice
3 & 1/2 cups stock or broth
1 big onion, diced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbs minced dill
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
-Heat oven to 350.
-Unfold grape leaves (rinse with cool water if you've truly pickled them).
-Dry leaves by wrapping them in layers of paper towels & set aside.
-Bring rice and stock/broth to boil.
-Reduce heat to low & cover, cooking for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
-Put rice in a bowl & cool to room temp.
-Cook onion in 3 tbs of olive oil for 10 minutes.
-Add dill, parsley & half of lemon juice.
-Add cooked mixture to rice & season with salt and pepper, mixing well.
-Place each leaf, smooth side down and stem end toward you.
-Wet your hands and gather 1-2 tsp of rice mixture in your palm, forming a cylinder
-Put rice cylinder at bottom of leaf
-Turn leaf over once, fold in sides of leaf, continue rolling making 1 tight firm package-- a dolmade!
-Continue filling, turning, folding and rolling until done.
-Place dolmades stem side down in baking pan.
-Drizzle with rest of lemon juice and olive oil.
-Cover with aluminum foil & bake for about 20 minutes, or until tender and warmed through.
-Serve warm or chilled.