Greek Recipe

Homemade dolmas make an especially festive offering for parties. Although the process is a little time-consuming, they can be made up to a week in advance, so they’re ideal for entertaining.


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1 XX-ounce jar grape leaves
~ boiling water for rinsing leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
6 scallions, green and white parts chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/3 cup currants
1 cup long-grained rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups water, for cooking the rice filling
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup water, for steaming the dolmas
2 quartered lemons

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and keep additional towels close at hand.

Line a 4-quart sauce pan with four or five grape leaves and set aside.

1. Carefully remove the grape leaves from the jar, separate them, place in a spacious, heat-resistant bowl, and cover with boiling water. Stir gently to clean the leaves, then take them out one at a time and remove their stems with a paring knife.

2. Place the grape leaves side-by-side, shiny-side down on the paper-towel lined baking sheet, add additional layers of paper towels to separate the leaves as needed.

3. Place a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat, add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, and heat to sizzling.

4. Add the scallions and pine nuts and cook until the scallions are soft and the nuts toasted—approximately 5-7 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning.

5. Add the parsley, dill currants, and rice. Mix well and cook for one minute. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add the salt and pepper and stir.

6. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover again, and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes more.

NOTE: The rice should remain quite firm. It will finish cooking completely when the dolmas are steamed.

7. Place a grape leaf on a clean working surface—shiny side down—and place one teaspoon of filling in the center. Fold the top down. Fold the left side toward the center. Fold the right side to the center and roll firmly. Place the completed dolma on a platter, seam-side down. Repeat until all of the grape leaves are filled and rolled.

8. In the grape leaf-lined saucepan, build the first layer of dolmas by placing them side-by-side close together. Sprinkle with some olive oil and pour on some lemon juice. Build a second layer in the same way and repeat the process until all of the dolmas are stacked in the pan.

9. Pour the water over the dolmas and cover with four or five grape leaves and a tight-fitting lid.

10.Turn the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil—then lower the heat to medium-low and steam the dolmas for 1 ½ hours. Adjust the heat downward if you hear a lively bubbling. Do not remove the lid during the steaming process.

11.Turn off the heat and leave the dolmas on the stove to absorb all of the remaining liquid for one hour. Do not remove the lid.

12.Place the dolmas on a decorative platter and serve with lemon wedges. You can store the completed dolmas in the refrigerator for one week.