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(Stuffed Grape Leaves with Rice and Herbs)

Dolmadakia or Dolmades


50 to 60 fresh grape leaves rinsed in cold water.
1 pound onions chopped
2 tbsp (tablespoons) fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
5-6 mint leaves, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1 cup uncooked rice (Carolina or glase is preferred)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Juice of 1 fresh lemon


If using fresh grape leaves ( you can also use canned ....we donít recomend ) ...drop them in boiling water and boil them for 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool down before you use them.
Saute the onions in 1/2 cup of olive oil until they are soft
Add the rice and cook covered for 5 minutes
Add the dill, parsley, mint, salt, pepper and the water. Simmer for 5 minutes and let cool.

The leaves can be stuffed one at the time either holding them in the palm of your hand or lay on a counter. In the center of each leaf , shiny side downward, place a heaping teaspoon of the filling.

Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and roll it up. Do not roll too tightly because the rice will swell when cooked.

Take a casserole, cover the bottom of a pot with some vine leaves (the broken or ripped ones) so that the staffed leaves do not stick to the bottom of pot.

Then place a layer of staffed leaves tightly side by side covering the bottom of the pot. Continue with another layer over the first layer until all the leaves have been used up.

Then sprinkle with the fresh lemon juice, add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Also add a 1 and 1/2 cups of boiled water with chicken boullion (or vegetable if you prefer)  in to the pot. All the stuffed leaves should be covered with the hot water.

Then place a heatproof plate over the stuffed leaves to prevent them from opening. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 45-60 minutes.

Let the dolmadakia cool in a pot.

You can serve them with a bowl of yogurt or home made Tzatziki.

Small tips: When you use fresh grape leaves, when you pick them flip them over and look for ones that are as white as possible. The toughness is directly proportional to the darkness of the green. You also want to look for leaves with very thin veins or you will end up spitting them out later.

This recipe comes from the Hahathakis Family who own the Hotel Aphrodite Beach and Taverna in Vatera Beach, Lesvos

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