Stuffed grape leaves (dolmades) taste better than they look!

Picture of Stuffed grape leaves (dolmades) taste better than they look!
Grape leaves provide a unique flavor, and stuffing them with some simple ingredients provides for some delicious snacks, hors d'Suvres, or (with the right compliments) even a meal!

This recipe was inspired by Tyler Florence, however I changed up the last part.

Be forewarned, this is a time consuming, labor intensive process. The result however is delicious, and well worth the effort.
Set aside half an afternoon (2-3 hours)
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Step 1: You will need...

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 2 tablespoons dill leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar grape leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (additionally) stock
  • 1/4 cup (additionally) extra-virgin olive oil

Step 2: Prepare the grape leaves

First, you have to sort through the leaves. Pick the biggest ones you can, and ones that don't have any big holes/tears in them.

You then take the best leaves, and remove the stems.
After that, blanch them (boil them for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process).

After blanching, arrange them on a plate, 'glossy' side down.

Step 3: Prepare the stuffing (part one)

You can stuff grape leaves with just about anything. I made vegan friendly grape leaves, so I used a simple rice stuffing.

Dice the onion, and the fennel bulb, then get 1 teaspoon of lemon zest from one of the lemons.

If you don't have a zester, you can carefully scrape one of the peels of the lemons and julienne it (shown)

Saute these ingredients with the first 1/4 cup of the oil, until the onions start to become clear.

Step 4: Preparing the stuffing (part 2)

Once the onions are clear, add the rice, and pine nuts.
Stir until they're coated in the oil, and then add 1/2 cup of the stock.
Simmer until the rice absorb the stock.
Scrape the rice into a mixing bowl, and add in the dill and parsley.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to put together my salt and pepper in a cupcake cup, and add only how much I need. This lets me control the concentration however I want.
dovelovey6 years ago
I just printed this recipe out and look forward to making it. My father in-law will be very pleased. He told me if I ever make it make sure it's the sweet and sour recipe. Thanks for such detail.
miaspamm6 years ago
Yum. In sixth grade, for a small class activity my teacher brought some of these in to try, the were great.