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Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves)

Recipe from: 1/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Ingredients 14
Servings 6


  • 100
    olive oil
  • 75
    onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • bunch of spring onions, finely chopped (green section too)
  • 1
    clove garlic, crushed
  • 125
    short-grain rice
  • 50
  • 50
    pine kernels
  • 50
    lemon juice
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150
    hot water
  • 20
    dill, finely chopped
  • 20
    flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 240
    1 jar preserved vine leaves (if they?re not pale green, blanch for 4?5 min)
  • extra-virgin olive oil


Heat half the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onions and spring onions and cook until they are soft and without colour. After about five minutes add the garlic. Sauté and keep everything moving around the saucepan as you add the rice, sultanas, pine kernels, lemon juice and the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the hot water.

Cover the saucepan and simmer. After five minutes all the liquid should be absorbed and the mixture should have a glossy look. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Add the chopped herbs and mix well. Rinse the vine leaves thoroughly and open them shiny side down onto a large surface covered with tea towels.

Place a heaped teaspoonful of the mixture in the middle of the leaf. Fold up the bottom flap of the leaf, fold the side leaves over that and roll tightly up towards the stalk. Parcels should be neat and well sealed. As you finish each dolmade, place it (join side down) into a small saucepan. They should be very tightly packed and lying in concentric circles. (You may need tomake two layers).

Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, season and just cover with water. Put an inverted plate on top of the dolmades to keep them pressed down and to prevent unravelling during cooking. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and replace the lid. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the water has been absorbed.

Theodore?s advice:

Roll the dolmades really tightly; they should be compact and bite-sized.

Look for good-quality Greek vine leaves at your local deli


Read more on: sauté


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