Stuffed Grape Leaves with Pomegranate Molasses

Stuffed grape leaves with pomegranate molasses.

Stuffed grapes leaves are known by many names. Depending on where you are in the Mediterranean or Middle East, they might be called dolma or sarma. Most preparations include rice – as well as fresh herbs, meat and spices – but here, we’re using pearled farro.

An ancient grain, farro is named for the Italian word for emmer wheat. Pearled farro cooks more quickly than semi-pearled, which in turn takes less time than whole. For this recipe, look for jarred grape leaves packed in a brine in your local grocery store; you can make them less salty by boiling them in water for two to three minutes, if desired, and then immediately shocking them in an ice bath before patting dry.

TURN UP THE HEAT. There are many types of farro, each featuring different amounts of fiber, protein and cooking times. Be sure to carefully read the preparation instructions on the package so your farro turns out chewy and al dente.

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Pomegranate Molasses

Serves | 4 to 6 |

Pomegranate Molasses

  • 1 16-oz bottle pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Don't have time? You can find jars of pomegranate molasses in specialty grocery stores.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

  • ½ cup pearled farro
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground Aleppo pepper
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • egg
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 jar grape leaves (about 25 leaves total), rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • pomegranate molasses (recipe below)

| Preparation – Pomegranate Molasses | In a small saucepan over high heat, combine pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Allow to reduce by half, about 20 minutes.

Set aside off heat.

| Preparation – Stuffed Grape Leaves | Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare farro according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add next 8 ingredients plus cooled farro and stir to combine.

On a clean work surface, spread out grapes leaves.

On the lower ¹⁄₃ of each leaf, add 1 to 2 tablespoons farro mixture. Roll leaves up by folding the bottom over the filling, tucking in the sides and closing tightly.

In an oven-safe casserole dish, add carrots, onion and celery and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange stuffed grape leaves on top, pour all pomegranate molasses over top, cover with aluminum foil and cook, 25 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick while cooking, add ½ cup water to prevent burning. Remove foil and cook 5 minutes more.

Serve stuffed grape leaves with cooked carrots, onion and celery and spoon sauce from casserole dish over top.

GET HANDS-ON! Join Feast Magazine and Schnucks Cooks Cooking School at 6pm on Wed., April 24, at the Des Peres, Missouri, location to make the dishes on this month’s menu. Tickets are just $45 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RSVP at nourish.schnucks.com/schnucks-cooking-school or call 314.909.1704.

MAKE THE MEAL:

  • Fattoush
  • Creamy Hummus with Warm Pita Bread
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves with Pomegranate Molasses
  • Roasted Chicken with Sumac and Lemon
  • Chocolate, Banana and Pecan Cookies

LEARN MORE: In this class, you‘ll learn how to make fattoush, a hearty Lebanese bread salad with mixed greens and vegetables. You’ll also learn how to season chicken with sumac, which has a tangy, lemony flavor.

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