I always thought stuffed grape leaves looked disgusting as a kid, and refused to even try them. I came to my senses a few years ago and thought I’d have a go at making them myself. It’s relatively simple and, apart from the wrapping part, hard to get wrong.
Start by rinsing your rice, then fry onions in a third of your olive oil. They should not brown, just turn translucent. Add the rice and saute briefly, then pour in warm water and half of your lemon juice. Simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, then add salt and pepper, as well as parsley and dill. Stir it all up and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, rinse your vine leaves if they are from a jar; if fresh you should wash them, remove the stems, and blanch them. Leave your leaves in a colander to drain.
Place a few vine leaves in the bottom of a large saucepan, covering the surface. Now use the rest of the leaves to roll your dolmades. Lay out your leaf and spoon a relatively small amount of the rice mixture at the stem-end–the rice will expand later so keep that in mind when gauging the amount. Now roll the bottom of the leaf over the rice, then fold the two sides in and roll it up completely. Pack the dolmades fold-side-down in your sauce pan and build layers until all your dolmades are inside. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice on your dolmades, and add salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to cover the them and use a plate to keep them firmly weighed down while cooking. Cover and simmer for a little over a half hour (it took me 36 minutes to cook away all the water). Finally, let the dolmades cool; they should be room temperature when eaten.