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Stuffed Romaine Leaves
2 cups water
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 cup currants
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup drained capers
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 heads romaine lettuce
Makes 20 to 24 Rolls - Serves 6 to 8
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients except the romaine. Cool the filling in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
While the filling is cooling, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Remove 10-12 leaves from each head of romaine. Use the larger leaves, not the smaller inner ones. Dip 2 leaves at a time into the hot water for no more than 10 seconds and then immediately dip them into the ice water to stop the cooking. Pat the leaves dry and then cut the bottom one-third from each leaf. You should have at least 4-5 inches long.
Place 2 tablespoons of the chilled filling mixture down the middle of each leaf. Fold the bottom of the leaf (the edge closest to you) over the fillinig, then fold the sides in toward the center. Roll away from you to form a tight bundle. Place, seam-side-down, on a plate, cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors marry. Serve chilled or room temperature.
Chef's Tip: The stuffing for the romaine leaves is wonderful to use on its own as a rice salad.
Wine Suggestion: Gewurztraminer
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