Stuffed Grape Leaf Pie

Stuffed Grape Leaf Pie

Serves 6-8

About 20 grape leaves, fresh or from a jar, dropped in boiling water for 1 minute, then drained and dried

3 cups cooked Basmati rice, cooled on a baking sheet

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup currants or chopped raisins

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped dill

¼ cup chopped mint

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ – ½ cup vegetable stock

Olive oil

Plain yogurt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush an 8- or 9-inch glass pie plate with olive oil.  Take a look at the grape leaves and cut off any protruding stems.  Starting on the sides, arrange some of the grape leaves to go around the pie plate, about half of each leaf should go beyond the rim.  Fill in the bottom of the plate, then brush liberally with olive oil.

Combine the rice, pine nuts, currants, herbs, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Add ¼ cup of the vegetable stock.  The mixture should be moist and hold together if you pick up some and squeeze it in your hand.  Add more stock if necessary.  Taste for seasoning.

Spoon the rice mixture into the lined pie plate, pressing down gently.  Fold the leaves over the filling, then brush with more oil.  Put another layer of grape leaves on top and brush again with oil.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, the top leaves should be crispy and the filling should be hot (check with an instant-read thermometer).  Let the pie cool, then slice and serve, topped with yogurt if you’d like.