Greek Dolmades (Stuffed Vine Leaves)

Another "classic" Greek dish. Dolmades can be eaten as a meze with ouzo or as a side dish. It can also be accompanied by Greek strained yoghurt as a tasty little snack on its own. Ideally, the vine leaves you use should be the first tender leaves of spring.


50 vine leaves – approx. 10cm diameter
(best vine leaves to use are the tender ones that are first to come out in spring)
2 large onions grated
½ kg risotto rice
1 bunch chopped fennel
5 fresh mint leaves chopped
Juice from 2 medium lemons
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Wash the leaves in cold water.

Place them in a large pan of boiling water for no longer than a minute – just to soften them.

Remove the protruding edge of the central stem from each leaf.

Place the leaves individually flat in a shallow oven dish and allow to cool.

In a shallow pan, gently fry the onions in 3 tablespoons of oil.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir the mixture just the once before removing from the heat.

Place 1 level teaspoon of the mixture in the centre of each leaf and fold the leaf to make a small rectangular package.

Spread 5 vine leaves at the bottom of a shallow pan and place the dolmades next to each other in the pan with the folded side underneath.

When you have completed one layer, make another layer of dolmades on top of them and then finally a third layer.

Add the rest of the olive oil as well as 1 cup of water.

Place any remaining leaves across the top of the layers and then place a heavy plate on top to cover most of the surface.

Put the lid on the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until there is only oil and no water.

Remove the plate and add the lemon juice.

You may now remove the dolmades from the pan and serve.

If you've tried this recipe please rate it!   

Eat and Enjoy!


Jaya said...

Yum, yum, yum. Love your blog!
Now I want to come eat at your

Cleveland Real Estate said...

Sorry, but the Greek grape leaves have nothing on the Middle Eastern ones...While they're good, there's something in the spices and way of rolling (tighter and smaller) that the others have, (Dawalli) I prefer the ones with ground lamb too...

Chef JP said...

Enjoyed your website very much!

the-sal-diaries said...

I agree! The ME dolmas are richer in flavor with the tomatoes and earthy cumin and other spices. :)

Unknown said...

My grandmother made these for me as a child loved them, middle eastern version not so much. No essence of soul hence forth the heavy seasonings.

Pieter said...

How much mince should you add?

Anonymous said...

Should they be served cold or hot?

Johnny said...

Authentic dolmades do not have to be spiced up too heavily for flavor. I suppose it is the same principle as taking a flame cooked burger or steak and marinate the hell out of it. Yes, you add different flavor or flavors, but you mask the taste of the grill and flame effect on the meat. Dolmades are simply stuffed with rice, your favorite ground meat, sautéed with onions, garlic, tomato insides and that is it!!!

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