This expert tutorial is all you need to create the best-stuffed grape leaves or dolmas! These unique grape leaves are stuffed with rice, meat, abundant fresh herbs, and warm seasonings, then cooked in a bright lemon broth. So, What is in Greek stuffed grape leaves?
Dolmas or dolmades, also known as stuffed grape leaves, are arguably the most emblematic dish of the Mediterranean.
One of my favorite foods, homemade dolmas, always reminds me of my mother’s Mediterranean cuisine. I first learned to make them as a young adolescent in the Egyptian kitchen of my mother.
It is the type of cuisine that is more enjoyable to prepare in a group. Consequently, the women of the household would congregate around our tiny kitchen table, stuffing and rolling grape leaves while catching up on life. Amazing memories!
- Preparation Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 60
- 1 1/6-ounce container of grape leaves in brine (approximately 60 to 70 leaves); I used Orlando (affiliate link) brand (about 60 to 70 leaves).
- 1 1/2 cups short grain rice, soaked for 15 minutes in plenty of water, then strained
- I used Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Private Reserve.
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced finely
- 1/2 ounces lean sirloin
- Purified salt
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 0.5 g cardamom
- 12 cup minced parsley, dill, and mint.
- One to two tomato rounds
- Four or more pints of low-sodium chicken broth or water.
- The juice of two lemons
Make ready the Grape Leaves.
If using grape leaves from a jar, as I am, remove them from the pot and dispose of the saline. Place the grape leaves in a colander to drain after a thorough rinsing.
Preparation of Stuffing
Ric should be soaked in ample water for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can break a single grain readily. Drain efficiently.
While the rice soaks, prepare the meat. In a big pan, cook the olive oil in the skillet. Add onions and saute For—approximately 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the beef and cook, mixing occasionally, until thoroughly browned.
The heart is then seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper, and seasonings. Toss to blend. Remove from the fire and allow to cool.
Mix the meat, drained rice, and fresh herbs in a mixing basin. Lightly season with kosher salt. Mix in substantial extra virgin olive oil until everything is evenly distributed.
Stuff Grape Leaves, Assemble, And Cook
Brush the bottom of a heavy cooking vessel with extra virgin olive oil. Place a few grape leaves in the bottom of the dish. Top with tomato slices.
To fill the grape leaves, you will handle each leaf individually. Place one grape leaf, textured side facing you, on a cutting board. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of the fill in the center of the lettuce leaf, then drape the sides over the filling and roll. Repeat with the leftover grape leaves or until the stuffing is exhausted.
Line the circumference of the prepared container with the grape leaves, seam side down, arranged in a neat row. Then, position an inverted small plate on top. Bring the broth or water to a boil and pour it over the grape leaves, covering the top layer (about 4 cups liquid, possibly more).
Cover the container and cook over a low flame heat for 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and remove the plate before adding the juice of two lemons. Cover again with the lid (the scale is no longer necessary at this stage), and cook on low flame for 30 to 45 minutes or until fully cooked.
Take grape leaves away from heat. Before serving, allow to rest uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter after adding substantial-high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
Serve alongside Greek Tzatziki sauce, plain yogurt, and lemon segments.
Cooks Tips For Best Results:
1) Ensure the rice is soaked before use; this enables it to cook well and evenly.
2) Do not overstuff the grape leaves; the filling consists primarily of rice, which will expand as it heats.
3) Roll the grape leaves so they don’t unravel or fall apart during cooking; however, keep in mind that rice expands as it cooks, so don’t bundle too tightly, or the rice won’t cook properly.
4) Adding a small plate inverted on top of the assembled grape leaves in the saucepan keeps them intact and prevents them from floating during cooking. Remove the container once the liquid is absorbed, and continue cooking as directed.
5) Once the grape leaves are cooked, set them to rest for 20 to 30 minutes so that you can absorb any residual liquids and the leaves can firm up and taste better.
1) You can prepare the stuffing one to two nights before and refrigerate it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
2) Grape leaves can also be rolled and assembled up to one day in advance and refrigerated until ready to prepare. Before cooking, I prefer to remove them from the refrigerator so they are not as chilly.
The difference between vegetarian and nonvegetarian grape leaves is the filling. You must omit the meat and add 1/2 cup of rice. It would help if you cooked The onions (meatless this time) until translucent.
And shallots are added to the rice. Add the fresh herbs, spices (allspice and cumin), and a sprinkle of salt. Use this vegetarian m? Lange according to the recipe’s instructions.
If using fresh grape leaves, they should be thoroughly washed and blanched in scalding water. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the water and set them in a colander to cool and drain.
How can I freeze these? Reheat them in the microwave or bring them to a simmer in a saucepan with a few teaspoons of water. You may also defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.
The majority of individuals add lemon and plain yogurt to this dish. Before serving, some butter is heated, a small quantity of pepper is added, and the resulting red butter is drizzled over the yogurt.
Dolma of various types is typically presented on a mezze platter alongside tzatziki, hummus, pita bread, spicy feta dip, fava (pure yellow split peas), and aubergine dip.
How Do I Store Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe?
Dolmas can be refrigerated for up to three days in a secure container.
You can also freeze them. Once prepared and cooled, freeze in an airtight container for up to one month. Before serving, defrost them thoroughly in the refrigerator overnight.
Have any remaining grape leaves? You can preserve unutilized grape leaves by freezing them in an airtight, freezer-safe container.
You can maintain this quality for approximately one month. Once reconstituted, refrigerate and consume within three days.
Dolmades, or packed grape leaves from Greece, are a delectable Mediterranean dish. Typically, they consist of grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs such as dill and mint, onions, and frequently minced meat. These savory morsels are then rolled and cooked until tender, resulting in a delightful flavor explosion.
Thank you for reading…..