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Video:Stuffed Grape Leaf Wreath

with John Mitzewich

If you love stuffed grape leaves, then try this delicious version that has a fun holiday twist. Our Greek-inspired stuffed grape leaf wreath not only tastes great, but its festive presentation makes it perfect for parties.See Transcript

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Transcript:Stuffed Grape Leaf Wreath

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to make this beautiful Greek-inspired feta, rice and lentil stuffed grape leaf wreath. It's easier to make than say, so here we go.

Cook the Rice and Lentil Filling

We're going to take 1 cup of raw white long grain rice and boil it according to directions. We're also going to take a cup of dry lentils and simmer them until tender, about 35 minutes. Make sure you drain them well.

Then, add the hot rice and lentils into a mixing bowl and stir to break everything up. Add some salt and black pepper to taste. We're going to let that sit and cool down a bit, we're going to mix this salad warm.

Grape Leaf Wreath Dressing Ingredients

For the dressing, I have:
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • dry salt to taste, about 1/2 tsp
Whisk that up - and that is the dressing. Take a 1/2 cup of the dressing to the warm rice and lentils and toss it in. We're going to let that sit and soak up the dressing, and gone on to our grape leaves.

Line a Pan with Grape Leaves

This is a 15-oz jar of rolled grape leaves. You can also buy dry which you boil to prepare, but these work great. Unroll it and pick out the nice ones; you're going to get about 50 in the jar, so we have plenty.

We're going to line a Bundt pan, starting at the bottom, making sure you overlap them so it's really covered. Do the bottom first and then go around the outside and the inside to form the grape leaf wrapper for this beautiful wreath.

Mix the Grape Leaf Filling

Next step, the rice and lentils are still warm. Add another 1/2 cup of the Greek dressing. You should have about a 1/2 cup of the dressing left if you want to serve some on the side later. We're going to crumble in 4-oz of feta, and toss it in. Make sure the salad is just warm, and not hot, or the feta may melt.

Stuff the Grape Leaf Wreath

Stuff the wreath about halfway up. We're going to reserve about a cup of the salad for the inside, you'll see that later. Add a few more grape leafs, bring up the sides and tuck them in. Very simple. Press it down kind of firmly. Put some plastic warp on this and I like to weight it down slightly with some lemons, or orange, or even eggs. Just for a light weight. Then, refrigerate overnight and its going to firm up very nicely.

To un-mold, just put a plate on, and turn it over. If any grape leaves come out of place, just tuck them back in, and it's going to look great.

Serve the Stuffed Grape Leaf Wreath

Put the extra salad we saved in the middle. I'm going to garnish really simply with some oregano sprigs and a cherry tomato rose. You don't need much. This is so great for parties, holiday parties obviously with the wreath presentation. And, it tastes great too. I really hope you give it a try. Enjoy!
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