Stuffed vine leaves

Stuffed vine leaves

Posh Rice
30–40 stuffed leaves
120 mins

A staple of the mezze table throughout the Middle East, Turkey and Greece, these little parcels of joy are easy to make and the yield is high, although they won’t last long.


Quantity Ingredient
250g vine leaves in brine (drained weight)
200g long-grain rice, plus 2 tablespoons
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50g pine nuts
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 teaspoon allspice
50g currants
1 lemon, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons dried mint
1/2 small bunch dill, finely chopped
500ml hot vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
greek yoghurt, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Soak the vine leaves in just-boiled water for 20 minutes, then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Soak the rice in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, add the pine nuts and fry until golden, then remove using a slotted spoon. Keep the pan on the heat and add another 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onions and cook for 8 – 10 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and allspice and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the rice, add it to the pan and fry for 1 minute, coating it in the oil. Remove from the heat and stir through the pine nuts, currants, lemon zest and juice, herbs, plenty of seasoning and 1 tbsp oil. Spoon 1 –2 heaped tsp onto a vine leaf, then fold in the sides and roll up. Repeat the process with the remaining mixture. You should have vine leaves left over.
  3. Line the bottom of a large saucepan with half the unfilled leaves, then arrange the filled parcels snugly on top in layers. Pour over the stock and remaining oil then cover with the remaining leaves. Sit a plate on top to press the leaves down. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 50 minutes – 1 hour until the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to steam with the lid on for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and leave to cool. Serve with yoghurt and lemon wedges.
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