Stuffed Grape Leaves

Total Time:
8 hr
30 min
6 hr
1 hr 30 min

20 to 24 rolls


Put the onions and oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. While the onions cook, peel the garlic cloves and mash them to a paste in a mortar and pestle. Add this to the pan along with the tomato, lemon juice, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the rice. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dill. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

While this is cooling, drain the grape leaves and carefully pull them apart. Put them into a bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them soak until you are ready to roll.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a grape leaf on your work surface, shiny side down. Add 1 tablespoon of the rice mixture to the middle of the grape leaf. Fold the sides over the rice and roll the leaf into a small log shape, about the size of George's thumb. Repeat with the remaining rice, placing the stuffed leaves into a 9 by 9-inch baking dish. When the dish is full, cover the stuffed leaves with several layers of flat grape leaves and pour in 1 cup of water. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Serve cool.

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    I brought these to my Orthodox Church today as a Lenten snack and they were hugely popular!
    when does the beef / lamb come in?
    I followed the directions precisely. I might have been too light on the salt. But I found these to be tasteless and too oily.
    Update on brown rice experiment: used a 2:1 mixture of brown short grain to white short grain rice. They turned out beautifully, but I did need to put in more liquid (to nearly cover them and cook them for 2 hours instead of 1 hour. Definitely a labor of love and if I make for a party, will stick to white rice.
    I love dolmades, but the ones I buy at the store are never any good. These are fabulous. Two notes - don't skimp on the layer of grapes leaves on the top, it makes or breaks your dolmades. Second, I would trim the little stems on the leaves.
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