Grape Leaves stuffed with Rice and Crabmeat
This special dolma recipe variation features grape leaves filled with crab and rice stuffing. Serve with classic avgolemono suace or spicy yogurt dressing - great for a main course or a side dish.
2 lbs, crabmeat
50 large grape leaves, rinsed, blanched, and trimmed
1/2 cup long-grain rice
3 cups finely chopped scallions (use as much of the green as possible)
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste
1 grated tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped dill
2 large eggs
Juice of 2 lemons
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Separate the leaves and blanch several minutes to soften. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse immediately under cold water.
2. Shred the crab.
3. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet and saute the scallions over medium heat until wilted.
4. Add the shredded crab and the rice. Stir to combine over low heat.
5. Add one grated tomato and cook the mixture over very low heat until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove and cool slightly.
6. Season with salt and pepper, and add the chopped mint, dill and parsley, slightly beaten.
7. Place a few torn or shredded leaves on the bottom of an oiled pot. To expedite the rolling, place as many of the remaining leaves as will fit on a table or work surface.
8. Place about a tablespoon of the filling in the bottom center of each of the leaves. Fold up the bottom to cover the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up.
9. Place the stuffed leaves seamside down in the pot, so that they fit snugly next to one another either in rows or concentrically.
10. Pour in remaining olive oil, the juice of one large lemon and as much water as needed to cover the rolled leaves.
11. Place a plate on top of the leaves to keep them secure in their place. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
12. Reduce heat and simmer the vine leaves until both leaves and rice are tender. This will take about 55 minutes.
13. Prepare the avgolemono:
- Whisk together the eggs and lemon juice.
- Slowly add a ladleful of the pot juices to the egg and lemon, whisking all the while.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot, heat over very low heat for a minute or so, shaking the pot gently to distribute the avgolemono everywhere, and serve.