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Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolmades are grape leaves that are stuffed with various ingredients. I had never eaten grape leaves before and the idea of stuffing them with a tasty filling sounded really good. I have been wanting to try making them ever since I saw Peter's dolmades post. I recently came across a jar of grape leaves and the dolmades quickly made it to my meal plan.

I had a bit of trouble getting the grape leaves out of the jar as they were packed in so tightly but after that they were fairly easy to work with. I covered the grape leaves in boiling water to make sure that they were tender. (You could also boil them briefly.) I also rinsed them a few times to remove any salt from the packing liquid. The grape leaves that I got had their stems removed so that was one less step that I had to do.

Overall the dolmades were pretty easy to make though it took a bit of time to stuff all of them. They turned out pretty well. One of the reasons that I really enjoy Greek cuisine is because it commonly includes lots of mint and dill which are two of my favorite herbs. With the herbs, feta and avgolemono sauce the dolmades were really tasty! The grape leaves themselves were nice and I look forward to using them again.

Ingredients:
1 jar grape leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 pound lean ground beef (or lamb)
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
1 lemon (zest)
1 bunch of green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup dill (chopped)
1/4 cup mint (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
* chicken stock
2 eggs
1 lemon (juice)

Directions:
1. Separate the grape leaves and place them in a large bowl.
2. Cover the grape leaves in boiling water and let soak for 20 minutes.
3. Drain the water and rinse the leaves a few times.
4. Heat the oil in a pan.
5. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Mix the onions, garlic, ground beef, rice, tomato puree, feta, lemon zest, green onions, dill, mint salt and pepper in a large bowl.
8. Place a grape leaf on a flat surface with the vein side up.
9. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the leaf and fold the sides over the filling and roll the leaf up. (See Peter's post for some good step by step photos showing how to fold the grape leaves.) Repeat until all of the filling is used up.
10. Place stuffed grape leaves into a baking dish in layers and just cover with chicken stock.
11. Bake in a 375F oven for about 1 hour.
12. Whisk the eggs in bowl over a small pan of simmering water until frothy, about 3 minutes.
13. Slowly pour in the lemon juice while whisking.
14. Add some of the liquid from the baking dish and continue whisking until it thickens.
15. Mix most of the avgolemeno sauce into the dish with the dolmades reserving some for garnish.
16. Serve the dolmades garnished with the reserved avgolemeno sauce and some chopped dill and or mint.

Similar Recipes:
Lahanodolmades (Stuffed Cabbage)
Kolokithakia Gemista (Stuffed Courgettes)
Lamb Exohiko (Lamb Stuffed Phyllo Parcels)

Take a look at the Weekend Herb Blogging roundup at The Houndstooth Gourmet.

50 comments:

Ramona said...

I love lemon sauce! In fact, I just made some last night to go over shrimp. Thank you for entering this recipe into Weekend Herb Blogging.
Cheers,
Ramona
The Houndstooth Gourmet

noble pig said...

Oh the lemon sauce sounds great. I love these guys, always the perfect addition to a meal.

Randi said...

seems everyone is trying pete's awesome recipe. i gotta get me some grape leaves :)

Elly said...

Looks delicious as always, Kevin!

Kalyn said...

Your photos are really getting better and better. I do love Dolmades, but never made them myself. Sounds delicious!

Gloria said...

Kevin, looks really,really delicious, I make a Libaneses stuffed grapes but different to this, I like these. Gloria

Patsyk said...

I've had stuffed grape leaves only a couple of times, but I must say your photo really makes me want to have them again! I may just have to try to make them since you made it sound so simple.

Beth G. said...

That sounds (and looks) DIVINE!

Steph said...

Wow, this looks really tasty! Great recipe! Beautiful photo!!!

Kitt said...

Lovely! I heart dolmades.

There must be dolmades love in the air lately. Have you seen White on Rice Couple's version posted last week?

LisaRene said...

Nice job! I love finger foods but have yet to make dolmades. I purchase them often at my local health food store and enjoy them cold for lunch, yum!

So many Americans only use fresh herbs as a garnish, just a tablespoon here and there, which is too bad. I'm with you, I love my fresh herbs and lots of them!

sher said...

Oh, applause applause! Those little darlings are calling to me. They know how adorable and delicious they are!

Pixie said...

Well done on making dolmades- I bet they didn't last long!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

They certainly look worth the effort. Gorgeous photo!

tigerfish said...

I have not tasted Dolmades before. They look so pretty to be eaten :)

The Culinary Chase said...

Kevin, I love Greek food & this dish is something I'd like to try! Did you have to wash the grape leaves? I have purchased before but found the brine really salty. Cheers!

Christie said...

This makes me miss my Lebanese grandma soooo much! Hers were the best in the world and she sneakily took the recipe to the grave, bless her. I love the lemon sauce addition, really freshens them up.

Kevin said...

The Culinary Chase: Yes I rinsed the grape leaves a few times with water.

Peter M said...

Kevin, bravo! Yesterday you hit a grand slam with the Baklava and now the dolmades!

They look wonderful, I can smell them now, when the casserole comes out of the oven and the Avgolemeno hits the dolmades!

LyB said...

That sounds so wonderful! The lemon sauce must really make this dish.

By the way, there's an award for you over here...

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo they look good! I'm not sure I'd have the patience to make them though haha.

Ben said...

That sounds really good, but where did you get the grape leaves? I have never heard of them before.

giz said...

Well done Kevin - they look like they were made by someone who makes them all the time.

Bellini Valli said...

Good for you Kevin!!!! I eat dolmades like candy. I made Peter's dolmades as well baked in the oven:D

Deborah said...

I really want to try making more Greek food - I need to find some grape leaves, because these sound wonderful!

Meeta said...

I am loving your arabian/greek posts - probably because I am in Dubai and enjoying all these specialities (baklava and these stuffed vine leaves). I think you ought to come out here to get a taste of them LOL!

Love the lemon sauce!

Diana Evans said...

I have never eaten grape leaves...are they good? I do love lemon and dill....

Saswati said...

wow kevin what a wonderful blog you have....just fallen in love with all the recipes.Thanx for visiting my blog and that led me to yours.will be back for more:)

nicisme said...

This is a feast for the eyes, very delicious!

smiles said...

who you did a great job i make these all the time as im greek but i have been so lasy and have made then in a while so now that i have seen yours im gonna make them tomorrow and they tast great with TZATZIKI good job

Neen said...

THANK YOU for this and for referring us to Peter's post. I spend 3 years in Cyprus as a kid and really loved dolmades, but have a really hard time finding any in the states that aren't canned or tinned. (Tinned, stuffed dolmades... how sad). It didn't even occur to me that I could make them myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

Laurie Constantino said...

Good for you for tackling dolmades! Looks like you did a great job.

Kevin said...

Ben: I found the grape leaves at a small specialty import grocery store.

Brilynn said...

I love dolmades, but I've never made my own. I'll have to seek out some grape leaves.

AnticiPlate said...

Where did you find grape leaves?

cakebrain said...

When I was in university I tried to make dolmades but I failed to rinse the grape leaves enough. It was so briny I couldn't eat it. blech. I always order it at Greek restaurants and yours look authentic! Yummy photos!

White On Rice Couple said...

Oh you made these too! We also love Greek cuisine for the same reasons you do....common us of mint and dill! We're herb crazy and we added alot of extra herbs to our dolmades too!

noobcook said...

the presentation looks like haute cuisine to me! :)

Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη said...

You could spare your self the pain of making the avgolemono sauce and eat your dolmades dipping them on strain yogurt. It's lighter this way, and it's not a taste compromise.

-Efthimia

Ginny said...

Greek, Moroccan,Japanese...is there anything you don't do? Looks great!

Nilmandra said...

I had this for the first time (and only time so far...) at a Jewish restaurant in Paris. Really liked it. The lemon sauce sounds really good.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

These look very very good Kevin! Nice job on your first try! You looks like a pro! These are my favorite things to make!

Cooking and the City said...

Kevin these look soo good :-)

TheRoosterChick said...

Never used grape leaves before, but looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Made these this weekend! Delicious! Minus the mint they are just like my Yiayias!

Girl Cooks World said...

I ended up making grilled fish wrapped in grape leaves a couple weeks ago and yes! Isn't getting those grape leaves out of the jar a total pain? I'll never understand why they don't put them in a wide mouth jar!

Now I have a bunch of grape leaves leftover and was thinking about dolmades. Thanks for the recipe!

Emily MacIntosh said...

Kevin, where can I find grape leaves in Toronto?

Kevin Lynch said...

Emily MacIntosh: You should be able to find them in jars in the Mediterranean section of your grocery store. I have seen them at Food Basics and Metro. If you cannot find them in a local grocery store they have them at the small import shop in the lower level at the St Lawrence Market. You can also get them in the small Greek grocery stores in Greek Town around Pape and Danforth.

Jane Goncalves said...

I tried this recipe tonight and they were beautiful but when I cooked them in the oven the grape leaves fell apart...cooked too long. Just wondering why they are cooked after they are rolled...is that really necessary?

Kevin Lynch said...

Jane Goncalves: I have never had the grape leaves bust open like that! They are baked after assembling because the meat and rice are placed in them uncooked and they cook as they bake allowing the flavours to mingle and the leaves to soften a bit as normally they are pretty tough.

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