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Stffed Grape Leaves /Dolmadakia/Dolmas<br><br>
Category: Appetizers and Dips<br><br><br><br>
Suitable for a: vegan diet<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Ingredients:<br><br>
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DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED! My aunt taught me how to do these and they're WONDERFUL!<br><br>
These may look VERY complicated, but they're actually really simple, and once you get the hang of it, they assemble quite quickly.<br><br>
**See the website listed below for some GREAT photos and instructions.<br><br><br><br>
1 jar (1 pound - about 75) preserved grape leaves<br><br>
4 cups thinly sliced onions<br><br>
1 cup olive oil<br><br>
1 cup short-grain Cal-Rose rice<br><br>
3/4 cup pine nuts<br><br>
2 teaspoons tomato paste<br><br>
2 cups minced parsley<br><br>
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves<br><br>
1 teaspoon sugar<br><br>
1 teaspoon dried dill<br><br>
6 tablespoons lemon juice<br><br>
salt<br><br>
black pepper<br><br>
hot red pepper<br><br>
3 cups water<br><br>
lemon slices for garnish<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Instructions:<br><br>
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Don't be intimidated!! LOTS of writing but really pretty easy to do!!<br><br><br><br>
Look for canned/preserved grape leaves in groceries that import Mediterranean food.<br><br><br><br>
Try to find grape leaves that have very thin veins, they'll be less stringy; if you are in luck and the store sells them in glass jars, then be choosy; otherwise, pray for the best and, if unsatisfied with one brand, try another next time.<br><br><br><br>
Boil 8 cups water in a large pot. Remove the leaves from the jar, and unroll them. There is no need to separate individual leaves yet; just unroll/unwrap the batch from the jar.<br><br><br><br>
Place the leaves in the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot. When the water boils again, turn off the heat, and let the leaves sit in the hot water for 10 minutes.<br><br><br><br>
Remove the leaves from the pot. Empty out the pot, and replace the hot water with cold water from the tap. Put the leaves in the cold water and set aside.<br><br><br><br>
The above boil-and-cool procedure removes the bitterness of the grape leaves<br><br>
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To prepare the filling, in a heavy skillet, sauté the onions in the olive oil for about fifteen minutes.<br><br>
Stir in the rice and cook ten minutes longer. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the water and lemon slices.<br><br>
Place about a tablespoon of the filling along the stem end of each leaf, fold over the sides, and roll from the stem up to form a sausage-like roll.<br><br>
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**To cook: Either follow directions below, or for even better luck, use the crock-pot cooking instructions on the following website: <a href="http://www.lerios.org/recipes/dolmadakia.php" target="_blank">http://www.lerios.org/recipes/dolmadakia.php</a><br><br><br><br>
Cover the bottom of the pan with some leaves to prevent burning during cooking. Arrange the stuffed grape leaves side by side, stem side down in the pan, layer by layer. Put some leaves over the top layer.<br><br>
Place a heavy plate over the top to keep the grape leaves in place while cooking. Pour in the three cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low. Taste the cooking liquid for salt, it should be a little on the salty side. Add more if necessary. Cook about thirty minutes or until done.<br><br>
Drain any remaining liquid but keep the plate in place until the rolls are cool to prevent discoloration and hardening of the leaves. Serve cold, garnished with lemon slices.<br><br>
*This dish can be prepared a day before, covered and refrigerated<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Additional comments:<br><br>
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**As I've mentioned above, this website has the BEST and most detailed instruction for on how to wrap and cook dolmadakia, (just ignore the recipe, since it's obviously not vegetarian).<br><br><a href="http://www.lerios.org/recipes/dolmadakia.php" target="_blank">http://www.lerios.org/recipes/dolmadakia.php</a>
 

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Yabrak is another name for those as well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Jessica_Marie, grape leaves *can* be bitter but when they're cooked they are okay. I love love love a lot of lemon in my stuffed grape leaves to balance out the bitterness. Uncooked grape leaves (like fresh of the tree) are bitter but a nice bitterness, like any leafy green.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you read the recipe, the grape leaves used here are preserved... in brine I think? There is no bitterness, they are just mild and... really don't have much taste at all.
 

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Hmmm. I have a wild grapevine in my yard- Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia), if I identified it correctly. In addition to eating the grapes, I've harvested the leaves and used them in cooking a few times, and the leaves actually had a tangy, faintly sour or lemony taste- not bitter at all. I liked it.<br><br><br><br>
Of course, older leaves will be tough.
 
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