24 grape leaves, packed in brine, drained
5 tbsp of olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
3/4 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup of long grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tsp raisins
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
seas salt and pepper
Put the grape leaves in a dish, cover with boiling water, and set aside for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse and pat dry. Cut off any thick stems. Place the leaves shiny side down on paper towels.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy pan. Cook the onion for about 3 minutes until soft.
Stir in the garlic, dried herbs, and cinnamon, then add the rice, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring until translucent and well coated.
Stir in the water and raisins and bring to a boil, stirring twice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender.
Fork the rice into a bowl and add the pine nuts, mint parsley, and half the lemon juice. Stir and season with salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Place about one tablespoon of the rice mixture on a grape leaf near the stem end and roll the leaf once over the filling. Fold in each side of the leaf, then finish rolling, repeat with all the leaves.
Brush a large casserole dish with 2 tablespoons oil. Arrange the dolmades in rows, making a second layer if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining oil and lemon juice. Add the stock to cover the rolls; add extra water is necessary.
Weigh down the rolls with a heatproof plate, cover tightly and cook over cook over very low heat for 1 hour. Remove from the and let cool to room temperature. Drain and serve with a little of the cooking juices, if wished.