Thursday, October 28, 2010


I love these things. They've always been one of my favorite but they're one of those things I never conceived of making. When I buy them in a store however, I feel guilty because I can see the congealed centimeters of oil layered across and know that can't be that great for me. So I decided to learn how to make them myself so I knew what was going into them. I've seen this same brand of leaves at both Whole Foods and "specialty" food stores.

These 8 oz. jars will yield you about 24 dolmade with some broken leaves left over you'll probably throw out. The leaves are really packed tightly in the jar. They're all rolled together so you just have to maneuver them out by grabbing a hold of the end and rotating round and round until them come out. You have to blanche them in hot water for maybe a minute or two and then lay them out to dry a bit. You also have to cut off the 1/2" stem at the bottom. It will seriously get into your way when trying to do the next step.

THE FILLING: There are so many ways you can fill this thing. I kept it pretty traditional and vegetarian although they're often stuffed with lamb.
  1. Dice 1 whole white onion and sweat it in a pan with minimal olive oil. S/P to taste.
  2. Throw in 3/4 cup of basmati, 3/4 cup of raisins and cook together for a few minutes.
  3. Add a handful of chopped parsley and dill. I LOVE dill so I used a LOT.
  4. S/P to taste again and squeeze the juice of one lemon.
  5. TASTE the final mixture, dry rice and all, because that's what your filling is going to taste like. Now is the time to add more S/P, lemon, or herbs!
  6. Lay out a leaf SHINY side down and put in about a cereal spoon-sized spoonful in the middle and follow the steps above to wrap it.

After about 20 minutes, you'll have your army of dolmade ready to go. Make sure the seam side is on the bottom so they don't unravel. My 10" flat-bottomed stainless steel pan is the perfect size for a single layer. Slice up carrots or potatoes and lay them flat on the bottom of the pan. Feel free to add the stems left over from the herbs. This helps to not only keep them from sticking, but at the end you have soft, lemony vegetables to add to your platter.

Once you have all the dolmade arranged on top of the vegetables and in a single layer, place a flat heavy plate across them because they're going to swell and mis-shape. Once the plate is in place, fill the pan up with water until right above the plate. Simmer for 30 minutes, drizzle a LITTLE bit of olive oil into the water, and then simmer for another 30 minutes. 99% of the water should be gone, and the rest that's left is going to be an opaque lemony, salty juice that will stick to your dolmade as you let them cool. ENJOY!


tomotron said...

wait i thought you were bringing these to the party?! what happened?

The Jerkey said...

I don't think that party either happened or we didn't come over. I forget what happened, remember?