Dessert Dolmas in Caramelized Shagbark Hickory Syrup

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4 cups water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups basmati rice
1 cup mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
24 grape leaves
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup Shagbark Hickory Syrup

• In a kettle, bring the water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, the rice, and the fruit. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
• In a saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Add the red bell pepper, onion, pine nuts, and spices. Sauté for approximately 4 minutes, or until the onion is done. Mix with the rice mixture and cool.
• Roll out the grape leaves and pat dry if from a jar. Place 1 large Tbsp. of the filling in the center of each leaf, then roll like a cigar. Place seam-side down in an ovenproof oiled pan.
• Sprinkle with 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil, then cover with the syrup. Bake at 275°F until bubbly and warmed through, approximately 30 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

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