Dolmades or also known as Stuffed vine-leaves, are a traditional Greek meze dish often found in restaurants and almost every household up and down the country. Vines are probably the only plants in Greece where every part of the plant except the roots are used in cooking.
What Are Dolmades?
Dolmades are a meze dish common in Mediterranean cuisine and surrounding regions including the Balkans, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, India and the Middle East. Common vegetables to stuff include vine leaves, rice, tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant, garlic and cabbage rolls.
How are they made?
Dolmades are primarily made (like all Greek dishes) with passion and Love..but hey, the best possible ethically sourced ingredients of course also help.
- Outer leaves – Dolmades can be made with grape leaves, zucchini flowers, even cabbage leaves but normally made with Grape leaves in Greece. They are in season at different times, which allows dolmades to be enjoyed all year, as long as you don’t require fresh grape leaves to fill them.
- Filling. The filling can change depending on what’s around. Some versions only use rice. Others use meat such as ground lamb or pork. Others even use chickpeas or other grains, such as boiled wheat. However, the most common ingredient seems to be rice and some kind of ground meat.
- Spices. Choices for spices include fresh mint, oregano, onion, garlic, cumin, and even cinnamon. Your choices will largely depend on which region of Greece you’re from and also on what’s available.
- Sauce. Some versions of this dish involve a sauce such as tomato sauce or avgolemono sauce. However, others prefer to leave them “as is” or just use a squeeze of lemon juice.
Feel free to use some of the links further provided in this blog to try your own version or simply order them via our website.
Where can I find some recipes?
You can find many recipes online for dolmades from renowned chefs such as Delia Smith and the BBC as Greek food and its healthy attributes become more and more prevalent and common knowledge nowadays.
Do the Greek Deli sell any for me to try?
You can also buy our pre-made Meze Dolmades in our brand new website online or even for your restaurant. We currently have 2 options available on our website for you to get delivered (FREE for orders over £50). The Onassis dolmades which are cooked with the most selected ingredients: a fantastic blend of “carolina” rice mixed with onions, parsley and dill is stirred fried with vegetable oil topped with lemon juice and then hand rolled in steamed fresh, tender Cretan vine leaves. We also have the as well as the Melina Dolmades, Hand rolled Dolmades, fantastic blend of rice mixed with onions parsley dill and lemon juice and a healthy low fat meze to enjoy with your favourite bread and cheese.
Any ideas on how to enjoy them?
Feel free to give them a try accompanied by a refreshing glass of water and of course the traditional Ouzo which you can also find in our drinks section.
Dolmades are a dish you will get hooked on and is cooked in spring with fresh vine leaves or all year long with preserved ones which can be found in any store selling Mediterranean food products or online via The Greek Deli.
We look forward to hearing what you thought of them and if you managed to make them yourself. Send us your photos and recipes to [email protected] and we will do our best to respond within 48 hours and even share some to our thousands of followers online.
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