Recipe of the Week: Adventures in Dolma Making!

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Posted March 17, 2011 by Rachelle Owen

What’s my favorite green food? Dolmas, duh! If you’re asking yourself “WTF is a dolma?!” let me clear it up: A dolma is most commonly a stuffed grape leaf (that’s where the green comes in!). Dolmas can be stuffed with meat, but who wants to eat that nasty shizz? I fill mine with brown rice, mint, dill, spices, and more. Yumness! I put together a little “how-to” Flickr slideshow for ya, check it out:

What you’ll need:

  • A few grape leaves (I cheated and bought canned—available at most grocery stores in the international aisle)
  • 1 cup of brown rice (if you can find organic, buy it!)
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 big fresh mint leaves (if you can’t find them, use dried)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh dill, pulled from the stem and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree or 1/2 a fresh tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon (I like things really lemony)
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

All right, let’s get started! First, cook your brown rice, of course. Once your rice is almost done, throw your scallions into a skillet with the garlic and olive oil. Sauté until the scallions are tender (about five minutes) and then throw in the dill, mint, tomato, and lemon juice. Sauté for about another five or so minutes, and then add in your fully cooked rice. Stir together and mix everything together well. Let stand for five minutes.

While you’re doing this, throw however many grape leaves you’d like from the jar into a pot of boiling water and let boil for about ten minutes or until tender. Once they’re tender, gently put them into a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat them dry and lay them out flat on a cutting board or plate.

Stuff ’em! Make sure each grape leaf is shiny side down and that you cut the entire stem off (it’s too hard to eat). Lay your filling out horizontally in the middle of the leaf, fold the bottom up, fold the sides in, and then gently roll from the bottom up.

Do this with all of your leaves, and then set them into a casserole dish, pour veggie stock over dolmas, and cover the dish (with a lid or aluminum foil). At this point, I also added in a bunch more lemon juice—but that’s just me. Throw your dolmas into an oven preheated at 375 and keep an eye on them for 10-15 minutes, making sure they don’t burn and turning them gently once in a while.

You can serve dolmas hot or cold. Pair them with tahini (again from the international aisle or from your local Middle Eastern restaurant or market), hummus, or garlic dip.

What do you think?

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  • 1591 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Interesting…I don’t think I’ve ever had a dolma before.

  • 1592 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Never thought of cooking the rice first. That makes it easy!

  • Ali

    1594 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    I adore DOLMA! it’s been my favorite food since FOREVER! It would really make me happy if you could put more vegan middle eastern dishes down because my meat eating family loves Middle Eastern food too! :)

  • 1594 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    Oh my god we make this a lot and it’s DELISH. We eat it cold and we put olive oil on it! 😀 Yum… And about what Hanine said, I agree! I’m Syrian, and we make this alot and I just love how alot of Arab dishes make it onto peta2. :)

  • 1595 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    I love it when you share Middle Eastern (and mostly Lebanese) recipes with us because I love it when people outside Lebanon get to know about these amazing stuff!

  • yve

    1596 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]


    rock on, sistah!! 😀 this is a hella good recipe!! 😀

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