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Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

These rice-and-meat-stuffed bundles are a traditional Greek appetizer.

  • Yield: Makes 35 pieces

Photography: GENTL & HYERS

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 1996


  • 1/2 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons uncooked rice
  • 8 ounces ground lamb
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh mint leaves, minced, plus 3 more sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 sixteen-ounce jar grape leaves, rinsed
  • 3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 slices


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine onion, rice, lamb, beef, garlic, parsley, carrot, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon oil, chopped mint, salt, and pepper.

  2. Place a leaf, vein side up, on a work surface; place about 1 tablespoon filling just below center. Fold bottom of leaf over filling and sides in toward center; roll up. Do not overfill or roll too tightly. Repeat, making 35.

  3. Lay dolmades, seam side down, in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan; do not pack tightly.

  4. Combine stock and remaining 3 tablespoons oil; pour over dolmades. Squeeze lemon over dolmades, and place lemon slices and mint sprigs on top. Place another 9-by-13-inch baking pan, half full of water, on top to weigh down dolmades.

  5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Let dolmades cool in cooking liquid, still weighted, for 2 hours. Serve drizzled with olive oil, or refrigerate for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

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