If you have grapevines in your garden, it’s time to learn how to make dolmades. When you tie grapevines to train them, a few invariably break off, however careful you are. This classic Greek dish is made by blanching grape leaves, then rolling them around a stuffing mixture such as rice, minced vegetables and ground meat.
Grape leaves are high in resveratrol, the same phytochemical that makes red wine good for your heart. Resveratol is a powerful antioxidant, and the most concentrated form of it in nature is grape leaves, which have a much higher content than the grapes themselves.
Dolmades are best made on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, because although they’re easy, they’re not quick. Dolmades are fiddly, but they’re fun, and the texture and taste is wonderful. Very homey and satisfying. Try rolling loving thoughts and kind wishes into every parcel for extra flavor.
Picked grape leaves need to be prepared within a couple of hours or they will wilt. Choose big leaves to stuff, as the little ones are too tender as well as being too small to make a meaningful dolmade.
To prepare each grape leaf, cut the stem right at the base of the leaf, then blanch a pile of flat leaves in a pot of boiling salted water for about 4 minutes. Lift them out with a pancake flipper, and lay them flat to cool down. If you’re not ready to make dolmades on the day you have fresh leaves, lie them flat in a plastic bag, remove any air, and freeze for up to 6 months.
If you are ready to roll, you need to cook some stuffing ingredients. My dolmades tonight were stuffed with organic ground beef, organic short grain brown rice, minced onions and bell pepper, chopped oregano, flat leaf parsley and oregano, and crushed garlic. However, there are a zillion stuffing mixtures that would taste wonderful, including vegetarian and vegan ingredients, like tofu, beans, cheese and tomatoes.
Line a full layer of colmades into a heavy pot, add a little liquid and bake at 420 F for 20 minutes. Serve with a fresh Greek salad salad drizzled with delicious olive oil.
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment...