Riyadh grape leaves fattah is a delicious and satisfying dish savored by many across the Middle East and Mediterranean. Similar to the more famous dolma and sarma, the dish involves vine leaves that are filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and spices before being gently simmered. The addition of za’atar in the filling brings bursts of tangy and herby flavor, complementing the savory meats and other ingredients.
To prepare the leaves, start by rinsing them in cold water. Be sure to select fresh, smooth leaves, and avoid those with cracks or brown spots. Then, blanch the leaves in boiling water for a minute or so to soften them. Once cooled, drain and remove the stems.
After the leaves are ready, it’s time to stuff them. To make the job easier, try to assemble them as an assembly line: first take a leaf and, with the bottom side facing you, place a tablespoon of the rice mixture at the center. Roll tightly so that the filling won’t unravel during cooking.
Then, repeat the process with the remaining leaves. When everything is ready to cook, add a flavorful cooking liquid made from crushed bouillon, tomato paste, olive oil, and lemon juice. The liquid should cover the grape leaves and stuffing by about an inch extra. Allow to come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1.5-2 hours until the vine leaves are tender.
Once cooked, let the fattah rest for about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy by itself, or pair it with a refreshing Lebanese salad to enhance the flavors and textures of this hearty and delicious meal. فتة ورق عنب الرياض