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Dolmas

Serves 4

8 ounces grape leaves, in brine (about 40-45 leaves) 1/2 cup olive oil , divided 2 cups cooked long grain rice 4 green onions or scallions, finely chopped 1 small red or white onion, finely chopped 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint 1 tablespoon zest of lemon Salt to taste 1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped Juice of 1 lemon

1 Drain the grape leaves and place in a large heat proof bowl. Pour boiling water over the leaves and allow to soak for about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water.

2 Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rice, scallions, onion, mint, lemon zest, salt to taste and pine nuts.

3 To fill the grape leaves spread out one grape leaf in front of you, vein side up and stem end toward you. Place about 2 teaspoons of rice mixture in the center, fold stem over filling and bring the sides of the leaf toward the center. Roll tightly, forming a cylinder. Repeat until all the filling is used.

4 Place the dolmas close together, seam side down in a large skillet. In a single layer if possible. If not, separate the layers with extra grape leaves. Drizzle the lemon juice and remaining olive oil over the dolmas and add boiling water to cover. Cover the pan tightly and simmer for 1 hour. Allow the dolmas to cool then transfer to a serving platter.

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