It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Greek recipe. Today I would like to share a deliciously healthy recipe for Greek dolmades (stuffed vine/grape leaves). I discovered this recipe on a recent trip to the beautiful island of Santorini, Greece (perhaps the most beautiful island in the world).
I found it in a local Greek restaurant called Fistikies and I was in luck because the chef was willing to share his authentic recipe for Greek Dolmades. Here’s the link to Fistikies Restaurant, and I strongly advise you to go there if you ever visit Santorini, Greece.
What are Greek Dolmades?
Greek Dolmades is one of the most popular appetizers in Greek cuisine. Greek Dolmades can be bought in your local store, however, they don’t come even close to these homemade authentic ones. So I don’t advise buying them.
Nothing can beat their unique taste, and they’re really easy to make. So, in this article, we will be looking at preparing Greek dolmades.
The recipe is a traditional mix of fresh herbs and vegans. Dolmades are not restricted to Greece and are cooked in many Asian countries.
FAQs about Greek Dolmades
Can I Make Vegan Greek Dolmades?
Yes, and it is very simple! In fact, the vegan version of Greek Dolmades also counts as authentic, it’s just a matter of preference.
So, if you are a vegan, all you need is to make changes to the fillings. Replace the meat with half a cup of rice.
After the onions are cooked, add them to rice, and then add spices, salt and pepper. Also, add fresh herbs to it. Mix well and use it for stuffing the grape leaves.
Can I use fresh leaves instead of jar leaves?
If you used fresh leaves instead of a jar then wash them well before using. You can also run hot water from them. After taking out of hot water, cool them and drain.
How to store the leftovers?
To store the remaining in the fridge, use airtight containers. You can store for three to four days. It is up to you if you want to enjoy them cold or hot. If you want to reheat, then put them in the skillet along with some liquid and cover it. Cook at medium flame until they are hot.
We hope you enjoy these delicious Greek recipes, and we invite you to return to our site to learn more about authentic Greek food. Thank you for your time and attention, we are always happy to serve our audience.
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Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Grape leaves in brine – 1 jar (16 oz)
- Short grain rice – 1 ½ cup (soak in water for fifteen min and drain)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chopped Yellow onion – 1
- Lean Ground Beef – 12 oz
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper
- Allspice – 1 tsp
- Cumin – ½ tsp
- Chopped Parsley, fresh mint, and fresh dill – ½ cup each
- Tomatoes – 1
- Chicken broth – 4 cups ( I use low sodium one)
- Lemon juice – 4 tsp
Instructions to prepare the grape leaves
- Take out the grape leaves from the jar and waste the brine. Rinse the leaves and drain extra water.
Instructions to prepare the Stuffing
- Take some water and soak in rice for fifteen minutes. Drain after 15 min.
- Meanwhile, take a pan and pour 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add in onions and sauté them. Keep stirring until they turn translucent. Add meat and cook more. Keep cooking until it turns brown. You may flip the sides when needed. Drain out the extra fat and sprinkle salt, pepper and all spices. Stir the chicken to mix well. Transfer the pan to the cooling rack.
- Take a bowl and add cooked meat, drained rice, and herbs. Sprinkle salt and pour 1 tbsp of oil. Mix well.
Instructions for stuffing grape leaves, assemble and cook
- Take a skillet and grease it with olive oil. Layer the bottom with grape leaves. Now, add a layer of sliced tomatoes.
- For stuffing the leaves, take one at a time. Take 1 leaf on the cutting board like the pattern is facing upwards. Pour 1 tbsp of filling in the center and fold the sides. Make a roll. Repeat the same thing with the remaining grape leaves or until you have no leftover fillings.
- Now, in the skillet, layer the grape leaves around the circumference. Put a plate reciprocally on the top. Pour hot broth on the leaves until they are covered a little in it.
- Close the lid of the skillet and cook over medium flame. Cook for half over or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove the lid and pour 4 tsp of lemon juice. Again, close the lid and cook for more than half an hour until they are cooked.
Instructions for Serving
- Remove the skillet from heat and let the grapes cool for half an hour before serving. Keep it uncovered.
- Again, drizzle virgin oil and transfer the grape leaves to the serving plate.
- Plain yogurt or lemon is the best side item to serve with grape leaves.
Cooking Tips & Variations
- Don’t skip soaking the rice as it later aids in cooking.
- It is not advised to over-stuff the grape leaves as the filling contains rice that expands when cooked.
- When you are rolling the grape leaves, make sure they are rolled tightly. Stay moderate, not less or too tight for proper cooking.
- If you place an inverted plate on the leaves then it will make them stay intact and prevent them from floating while being cooked. When the liquid is absorbed, you may bake out the plate.
- The resting time after the grapes are cooked allows them to absorb the extra liquid. It also adds to the taste.
- If you want to prepare the recipe ahead then follow these tips.
- Stuffings can be prepared one or two nights prior. You may store them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- It is possible that you roll the grape leaves with stuffings inside and then place it in the refrigerator overnight. Take them out of the fridge an hour before you need to cook.