My effort with step by step pictures on how to make Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma)!
Okay, so it’s not as entertaining as pictures of me trying to juggle oranges or pineapples ~ or better yet juggling monkeys that are jumping through hoops, but at least with these pics hopefully you will be able to see how Stuffed Grape Leaves are made.
Right, so think burrito wrap, because that’s the basic wrap you use to hold these tasty little Stuffed Grape Leaves together.
Above I noted to use 2 leaves (make sure they are vein side up), this is to prevent any filling from popping out if the Grape Leaf tears during rolling. You could get away with 1 leaf if you’re careful but I found it easier just to use two. When rolling, start with the stem end and roll partially, then fold over each side to make an envelope. Finish rolling, gently press or squeeze to make it tight as you go. AND you have officially rolled a Stuffed Grape leaf! Next, I will be showing you how to roll cigars on your thigh – umm NO not really 🙂
In my 10 inch skillet, first I lined it with about 10 Grape Leaves before laying the Stuffed Grape Leaves seam side down. Then I drizzle about 2 Tbls. Olive Oil over them and then pour 1/4 cup each of water and fresh lemon juice. Turn up the heat baby, bring to a boil and then reduce to low/simmer, cause now it’s time to cover and let them cook beautifully for about 40 – 50 minutes.
I think they are so good, definitely much better than store bought. My idea of a perfect meal, includes a vat of Hummus, warm pita bread, Kalamata olives, copious amounts of Greek Salad and Feta cheese and a steady supply of Stuffed Grape Leaves with Lemon and Greek Yogurt!
If you haven’t figured it out yet, YES – I seriously love Mediterranean & Middle Eastern cuisine!
Because they can take some time to prepare, I made the filling and rolled them the day before I intended to cook them. If you opt to do that, just make sure that you cook them within 24 hours of prepping these little gems.
I like them best served warm with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a good slathering of Greek Yogurt! You can serve them up as appetizers or your main meal. Either way, enjoy.
I will be posting another recipe soon on what you can make with leftover Stuffed Grape Leaves…so check back soon.
- 4 Tbls Olive Oil
- 1 medium Red Onion, chopped
- 1 lb Beef or Lamb, ground (minced)
- 2/3 cup Long Grain Rice, uncooked
- 2 heaping tsp. ground Allspice
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Fresh Mint Leaf, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried mint leaves)
- 1 (16 oz) jar Grape Leaves, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- Greek Yogurt and Lemon Wedges to serve
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 Tbls Olive Oil and heat.
- Add chopped onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground meat with onions and continue to cook until meat is browned.
- Add Allspice and Rice, cook for just less than a minute.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of Water, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes or until Rice has absorbed water and is tender.
- In small skillet, dry roast Pine Nuts until lightly browned. Can burn quickly if not being watched.
- Add roasted Pine Nuts, Salt and Pepper and Mint to Meat mixture and mix well.
- Drain and run Grape Leaves under warm water to separate. Drain, pat dry with paper towel. Stack on a board or prep area.
- Cover bottom of heavy skillet with about 10 grape leaves and making sure it cover up sides by 1 inch.
- On working surface, lay 2 leaves, vein side up on top of each other.
- Place 1 rounded Tbls of filling near the stem end of leaves.
- Then roll from stem end up in a Burrito or Jellyroll fashion.
- Repeat until all of the mixture is used
- Arrange Stuffed Grape leaves, seam side down in Grape Leaf lined skillet.
- Drizzle 2 Tbls Olive Oil over them and add 1/4 cup of Water and 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice.
- Bring to the boil, Reduce to Low and simmer covered for about 40 - 50 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Serve Warm or Cold. Can be stuffed, prepared and refrigerated 24 hours before cooking. Once cooked, keep refrigerated. Eat within 3 days.
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.