Preparation / Directions:
* Note: See the "Egg-Lemon Sauce" recipe which is included in this collection.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling.
Pick out the smallest leaves in the jar and set aside. Use some of these leaves to place a single layer on the bottom of a 2-quart heavy-lidded kettle.
Cut the stems off the grape leaves.
Spread a leaf on the counter, bottom side up, stem end toward you. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold the sides over to secure the filling, then roll from you toward the tip of the leaf, forming a small cigar or cylinder. The size should be approximately 2 1/2-inches long and 3/4-inch wide.
Do not wrap these too tightly; the rice needs room for expansion when it cooks.
Place the rolled leaves on top of the single layer in the bottom of the pot. Place the rolls up against each other rather tightly so they will not come undone while cooking.
Cover them with a layer of unrolled leaves, then add another layer of rolled leaves. Continue until all rolled leaves are in the pot. Top with the remaining unrolled leaves.
Place a medium plate over the top of the leaves as a weight.
Mix the chicken stock and lemon juice for the broth and pour over the leaves in the pot. Cover and bring to a light simmer. Cook 1 hour.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 1 more hour. Do not remove the lid or the leaves will darken.
Serve warm with Egg-Lemon Sauce on top. This recipe serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer course.
Comments: There was a time in Greek history when certain people were so hungry they took to eating the leaves from the grape vines. From that time of destitution comes this flavorful dish.