I don’t know if I have mentioned this, but my husband and I live with another couple and their baby (it helps when you live in Southern California). The other husband is part Syrian and has made something that he calls “yebret” (Mediterranean Grape Leaf Rolls). He recently made some, but had leftover grape leaves…so I decided to make dolmas. We found a local Greek grocery store that carries grape leaves that are gluten and corn free.
I began by placing the grape leaves in a bowl and pouring boiling hot water over them. While I let them soak, I gathered my materials for the stuffing and began preparing. For this recipe I added fair trade, grass fed chicken sausage…that is not a usual ingredient in dolmas.
For the stuffing, I used rice, chicken sausage, raisins, feta cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice, sea salt, all spice, mint, and mustard greens. I cooked it all together before I rolled…which means that you don’t need as much stuffing in your rolls.
Once the stuffing has cooked add raisins, feta cheese, and more mint. Take your grape leaves, stuffing, a towel (or waterproof mat) to a table and get comfy!
Snap off the stems of the leaves (you can see in the picture above). Place the leaf rib side up, place a dollop of stuffing towards the base of the leaf, fold each side in, then roll from the base to the top of the leaf. Continue rolling until you are out of stuffing or leaves, or both!
Place the dolmas tightly in a pot. Add some lemon juice and all spice to the dolmas, cover with water. Then cover with a fitted plate, bowl…your goal is to keep the dolmas all under water at this point.
Since the stuffing has been cooked, leave them in the hot water for 10 minutes. Remove from the boiling water. Place on a separate plate. Now enjoy! They were gone in only a few hours!
- 1 jar Grape Leaves. (look for a mediterranean grocery store)
- 2 C. White Jasmine Rice
- 2 Free Range. Grass Fed Chicken Sausage
- 6 Mustard Greens (de-ribed) chopped, washed well
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 C. Feta Cheese
- 1 C. Raisins
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh Mint
- 3 Minced Garlic Cloves
- 2 Lemons (juice and zest)
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 2 tsp. all spice (1 for the stuffing, 1 for the water)
- ½ tsp. White Pepper
- Place the Grape Leaves in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over them. Set aside.
- Begin by cooking the rice (follow the instructions on the bag)
- In a frying pan, heat oil on Med heat. Mince the garlic and chop the sausage in small pieces while waiting for the oil to heat.
- Place the garlic in the oil and cook until a tan color. Add the sausage.
- Place the chopped/washed greens in the sausage.
- Add spices (salt, pepper, all spice) and the lemon juice and zest from one of the lemons.
- Add 1 Tbsp. of water
- Place a lid on top to allow the steam to cook the greens. Mix the rice in.
- Pour into a large bowl and add feta, raisins, and mint. Mix.
- Remove the small stem of the grape leaf.
- Rib side up, place a small dollop of the stuffing (don't over stuff) towards the base of the leaf. Fold both sides in, overlapping them one on top of the other.
- Roll from the bottom of the leaf towards the top.
- Tightly place all the rolled grape leaves in a large pot. Add the other lemon juice, zest, and all spice. Cover with water.
- Place a heat proof plate or bowl on top (wanting to make sure the dolmas don't move).
- Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes (since the stuffing was pre-cooked)
- Remove the grape leaves from water. Let cool for awhile. Enjoy!
This recipe was featured in Darling Magazine.