Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolmades, what a treat! These are a staple Greek dish and super healthy to boot!

⁠Everybody has seen these at one time or another, but for those of you that don’t know, they are stuffed grape leaves. With a little preparation, these are a great dish to make from scratch as you can create the flavors you want.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • ½ cup evo3 extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 ½ tbsp dill
  • 1 ½ tbsp parsley
  • 1 (8-ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Start by soaking the long-grain rice in water for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. In a large saute pan, cook the diced onion and garlic in ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat until just translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the allspice and cinnamon, stirring frequently until fragrant, then turn off the burner.

3. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium-low heat stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes. (Tip: keep an eye on your pine nuts at all times so they do not burn!)

4. For the filling: Drain the water from the soaked rice. Combine the rice with the meat mixture, diced tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, the remainder of the olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and parsley. Season with salt & pepper. Mix well.

5. Drain and rinse your grape leaves and snip off the stems. Begin stuffing your grape leaves by laying them out flat with the textured side up, and add about a tablespoon of filling to the center near where the stem was. Roll them by bringing the bottom of the leaf up and over the filling, fold the sides in over the filling, then roll it all up! The rolls should be snug, but not too tight so the rice has room to expand as it cooks. (Tip: preheat your oven to 350°F while you roll.)

6. Line a baking dish with smaller or torn grape leaves to help protect the stuffed leaves. Arrange the dolmades in a single layer in the lined dish. Pour the vegetable stock over the stuffed leaves until just covered.

7. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour, until the dolmades are tender when pierced with a fork.

Enjoy!

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