Stuffed Vine Leaves in Oil


        1 Ib. fresh tender vine leaves
        1 1/4 cups rice
        1/2 cup hurnmus (chick peas) (nuts may be substituted)
        1/2 cup chopped parsley
        1/2 cup chopped mint
        1/2 cup minced scallions
        1 cup chopped tomatoes
        1 cup olive oil
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        1/4 tsp. pepper
        1/2 cup lemon juice
        1 1/2 cups water
        1/4 tsp. cinnamon
        1 tomato, sliced
        2 whole garlic cloves
Wonderful finger food for buffet suppers, picnics or with cocktails. An appetizing dish for a meatless day.

Soften leaves by dipping in boiling salted water for a minute. Drain and pile in deep dish while preparing stuffing. Wash and drain rice. Crack hummus (which has been soaked overnight) with rolling pin and remove skins. Make stuffing of rice, hummus, parsley, mint, chopped tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and oil. Add seasonings to taste. Stuff one leaf at a time, following method described in illustrations accompanying recipe for Mahshi Warak Areesh bi Lahm. Use a heaping teaspoon of stuffing for each leaf. Fold bottom of leaf up over stuffing, then fold in from each side toward middle. Roll up like a cigar. Rolls should be about three inches long and somewhat thicker than a cigar. Place layer of tomato slices with whole garlic in bottom of pressure cooker pan. Cover with mahshi, arranged side by side in layers. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Add water. Cook under pressure for 12 minutes. Open cooker and simmer uncovered until sauce is thickened. Taste sauce. Add more lemon and salt if necessary. Allow to cool in sauce. Drain sauce into serving bowl. Lift rolls out one by one and arrange on serving platter, or turn out onto the platter. Serve cold. Prepare a day ahead, if possible, for best flavor.

Cook without pressure if you prefer (see stuffed vine leaves with meat).

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)