Dolmades (Grape Leaves)
A tasty and healthy vegan Mediterranean recipe that makes a perfect appetizer or side dish.
- Total Time1 hr 30 min
- 100 grape leaves, rinsed, destemmed **note if fresh, blanch in boiling salted water until tender
- 1 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 ½ cups thin sliced green onions
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 ½ cups long grain rice
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 to 6 turns fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lemons, 1 juiced and one cut into 1/6th wedges
Set a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add ¼ cup of the Greek olive oil, onions and saute until translucent, stirring often until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the green onions, dill, parsley, and mint and saute until the onions are completely softened. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups vegetable stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until fully cooled.
Line the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven with 3 layers of grape leaves (these will prevent the dolmades from scorching later).
Working the grape leaves one at a time, place the remaining leaves, bottom-sides up with the points facing you. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each leaf, then fold the left and right sides over the filling. Fold the tip of the leaf over the filling, then roll tightly to make a roughly 2-inch by 1⁄2–inch cigar shape. Place the roll, seam side down, in the lined Dutch oven. Continue with the remaining leaves and filling, placing them tightly together in the pot and continuing onto a second layer as necessary.
Place the Dutch oven on the stove and add the remaining hot vegetable stock, the lemon juice, and the remaining Greek olive oil. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pan, cook until the rice is tender, and the leaves are very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the Dutch oven from the stove and let cool.
Serve The Dolmades
Place the dolmades at room temperature or chilled on a serving platter, drizzled with olive oil and garnish lemon wedges for squeezing.