Judy and Yaiyia (Toney) discussing grape leaves at The Raincatcher’s Garden
You remember Yiayia aka Toney Davrados. Yiayia is Greek for Grandmother and as any Greek Grandma would-she showed us how to make dolmades at our fabulous July Grape Lecture and Lunch Event.
Now she has offered us the vegan version:
Yiayia’s Greek Dolmades Vegan Style
*Stuffed Grape Leaves with Rice and Herbs
Stuffed Grape Leaves (Greek Dolmades) are often served as part of a mezé (appetizer) plate. Too often they come from a can and are not fresh. Fresh Greek Dolmades are far superior to the canned. These can either be a main dish or an appetizer, depending on your appetite. These small bundles of rice and herbs wrapped in grape leaves are a favorite dish in Greece.
Toney surverys our grape leaves to show us leaves that are smooth on the back make better dolmades.
If you have never tried fresh Greek Dolmades, now is the time. They are very easy to make and so delicious!
*Fresh vine leaves: Blanch tender vine leaves for 2-3 seconds in boiling, salted water. Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl full of very cold water. Place in colander to drain off water. Use a small sharp knife to remove any stems or tough veins they may have.
*When using bottled Grape Leaves: To prepare bottled grape leaves, rinse well under cold water to remove the brine. Place them in a colander (back side up) to drain and hold until ready to use
- 60-70 tender vine leaves
- 2 bunches fresh green onions, sliced in to very thin rounds
- 1 large onion or 2 smaller ones, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup rice
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 bunch dill, finely chopped
- 1 bunch mint, finely chopped
- grated zest of 2 lemons
- freshly ground pepper
- juice from 1 1/2 – 2 lemons
Place a pan over medium to high heat.
Add the green onion, onion and garlic along with ½ the olive oil .
Sauté for 10-15 minutes, until they soften, caramelize nicely and shrink in volume.
Add the rice and sauté for 2-5 minutes.
Add the 1 ½ cup water and stir. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the rice soaks up the water.
When ready, remove from heat and set it aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
Add the parsley, dill, mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Spread 4-5 vine leaves, and lemon juice on the bottom of a 22 cm pot. Use any ripped or broken vine leaves.
Place a vine leaf in the palm of your hand or on a cutting board (veins facing up and shiny side down).
Add 1 tablespoon of filling in the center, fold the sides of the vine leaf inward and roll to complete. Review the process here.
Transfer to the pot, placing the stuffed vine leaves in a row, one next to the other.
Repeat the same process for all the vine leaves.
When the first layer has been added, continue with a second and third, if needed until they are all done.
Add the remaining olive oil, and cover the stuffed vine leaves with a plate. This is done so that they don’t fall apart while cooking.
Add the warm or hot water, until they are completely covered.
Simmer for about 40-50 minutes until the rice is done and the vine leaves are tender.
When ready, remove from heat and set them aside to cool in the pot.
Let them cool for a bit, in the pot. They can be served warm or cold and should be enjoyed all on their own!
*Perfect sauce for dolmades
Serve the stuffed vine leaves with yogurt, dill, mint, olive oil and freshly ground pepper.
- 8oz Yiayia’s Greek strained yogurt
- 1tsp dill finely chopped
- 1tsp mint finely chopped
- 1tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper
Linda Alexander and Ann Lamb
Video by Starla Willis