Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Food Lovin {Grape Leaves: Dolmades}

Stuffed Grape Leaves {Dolmades}

Ever had them? Let me start by saying they are SO very GOOD and addicting! There are so many different ways to make them. This is a European recipe and traditionally they are made with ground lamb. For those who don't like lamb {myself} I make them without meat.

If you have never tried them I would suggest you go to SPROUT'S Farmers Market {a chain Organic market} they sell them in the prepared food section where the hummus is, near the meat counter. They make the BEST ones!

-2 cups uncooked brown rice {may use white if preferred} 
-1 large onion
-chopped 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill  
-1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves {replace w/ Parsley if you prefer, I do}
-2 quarts chicken broth {Sub vegetarian broth, or pickle juice from jar gives good flavor}
-3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-divided 60 grape leaves drained and rinsed {approx 2 jars}
-hot water as needed
-1 cup olive oil
-few garlic cloves
-{add ground lamb or beef, lamb is traditional}

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the rice, onion, dill, and mint/parsley for about 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Pour in 1 quart of broth, reduce heat to low and simmer for another 40-50 minutes {depending on the cook time of your rice, brown rice takes longer to cook}, or until rice is almost cooked. Stir in 1/2 of lemon juice and remove from heat.

Take one leaf, shiny side down, and place 1 teaspoon of the rice mixture at the bottom (stem) end of the leaf. Fold both sides of the leaf towards the center, roll up from the broad bottom to the top, and place into a 4-quart pot. Repeat with all leaves, leaving no gaps as leaves are placed in pot (to prevent from opening while cooking). Sprinkle with remaining lemon juice and with olive oil. Place lemon slices and crushed garlic through out stuffed leaves.
**For step by step visual on folding grape leaves visit here
Pour broth over all to cover grape leaves. Place small plate over on top to keep them from opening, this will just weigh them down. Cover pot and simmer for about 1 hour+ (do not boil, because this will make the stuffing burst out of the leaves). Remove from heat, remove cover and let cool for 1/2 hour. Transfer to serving dish and serve.
You can eat these warm or chilled. I think they are better chilled for approx. 24 hours.
For more recipes check out All recipes, the user reviews really help. I have made these twice now and the 2nd batch were much better than the first.

Bon app├ętit


  1. I never thought I'd like these but had them with a Greek salad once and I LOVE. The deli downstairs from my work has them- I always get :)

  2. Ohhhhh I loved them I have an auntie who is from Palestine and always makes them!! they are so delicious! I'm so giving them a try! thanks for sharing this!


♥ T h a n k s for stopping by Mi Vida Bonita. xoxo

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