Weekends are a great time to take on cooking projects: Those dishes that take a bit more time, that involve a bit more planning, time to make things you usually buy. One such project I took on recently was dolmas, or stuffed grape leaves. My motivation was tri-fold: An accidentally opened jar of home-made (well, home-processed) grape leaves that needed to be used up was at the top of the list, but a close second was my love of good stuffed grape leaves. Coming in third was my intense disappointment every time I bite into a sadly ubiquitous soggy, mushy, bland version.
I made mine with brown rice, which added a lot of body, and threw in some pine nuts and sunflower seeds. Plenty of onion, black pepper, and mint rounded out the dolmas themselves. Serving them with fresh lemon wedges (sections of Meyer lemons from our backyard tree worked well for us) and fresh goat cheese turned them into an impressive and modern dish. Serve as a casual and light main course or as a rather elegant first course if you have a dinner party planned.
Each week, the Friday Food Files are deliciously brought to you by Molly Watson. For more on Molly you can visit her in one of many wonderful places:
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*Top image courtesy of mariannaF.