Dolmades are a bite-sized Greek dish made from either grape or cabbage leaves and stuffed with an assortment of mixtures. What makes dolmades so wonderful is their versatility. Stuff dolmades with ground meat (lamb, beef or pork), or go the vegetarian route and create a flavorful rice and herb combination for the filling. Top dolmades with a tomato sauce or avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce), leave them plain, or serve alongside tzatziki (Greek yogurt dip) for dunking.
Vegetarian Dolmades
Recipe type: Appetizer/Vegetarian
Serves: 50-60 dolmades
Vegetarian dolmades with delicious rice and herb mixture.
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar of grape leaves
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, grated
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste
For cooking:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • Water
  1. Rinse the grape leaves and remove the stems. Place in a colander to drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine rice, tomatoes, onions, mint, parsley, dill and the olive oil. Season generously with salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. To roll the dolmades, place one leaf (shiny side down) on a rolling surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture near the stem end. Don’t overfill the leaves as the rice will expand when cooked. Fold the lower part of leaf over the filling, and then fold the left and right sides into the center. Then finish by rolling tightly to the tip of the leaf. Continue until all the mixture is gone.
  4. To cook the dolmades, line the bottom of a pot with vine leaves (use the ones that are too small or torn). Pack your dolmades stem-side down tightly in the pot, side by side. Repeat this process for each subsequent layer and drizzle with olive oil. Continue layering until the pot is filled. Cover with lemon juice and water.
  5. Place an inverted dinner plate on top to hold them in place while they cook. Cover the pot and let simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour on medium heat.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, and the liquids are absorbed, remove the dolmades from the pot and let them cool for about 20 minutes.
  7. Serve cold as an appetizer or hot as an entrée. Squeeze a lemon over the dolmades before serving.
Note: If you use fresh grape leaves, blanch each leaf in boiling water for 5 seconds. Then, transfer to cold water and rinse and allow them to drain in a colander. This will remove the natural bitterness.
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