These savory little bites can be made for meat lovers and vegetarians (even vegans!), taste great warm or cold, and last for days. The perfect party snack!
- 1 jar grape leaves
- 1½ cups rice, uncooked
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh mint, minced
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- ½ lb lean ground pork
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- In a dry skillet, toast pine nuts until lightly browned. Set aside.
- Saute onion in olive oil until golden. Add rice and saute until rice is coated and very lightly browned. Add water, salt and pepper and simmer until water is all absorbed and rice is half cooked.
- Add rest of ingredients (except grape leaves and lemon juice) and toss to mix well.
- If you are making a portion of the rolls with meat, divide mixture into thirds at this point. To each third that you wish to make with meat, add ½ pound lean ground pork, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
- Roll mixture into grape leaves. burrito-style. (See pictures below)
- Line skillet or large pot with additional grape leaves, and lay stuffed grapes leaves in one tightly stacked layer on the bottom of the pan. Pour ½ the lemon juice over the top and add enough water to cover the dolmathes halfway.
- You can cook these a couple of ways:
- Simmer for about 45 minutes on low, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
- Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Bake about 35-45 minutes at 350F.
- When the dolmathes are done, pour the rest of the lemon juice over the top.
- Serve warm or cold, with Feta-Dill Sauce or tzatziki.
Pine nuts can be very expensive, but I buy mine in bulk, and just get what I need – no more – so they really aren’t too bad, and a little goes a long way. If you really don’t want to use pine nuts, you can substitute chopped walnuts or pistachios.
Divide mixture into thirds. Make vegetarian rolls with 2/3 of mixture. With the remaining 1/3, add 1/2 pound lean ground pork or ground lamb, plus about 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. (I always use pork because I don’t eat lamb, but Mr B is lobbying for lamb-stuffed rolls one of these days.) I cook my meat rolls in a separate pan from my vegetarian rolls, but this depends entirely on the preferences of the vegetarian eaters in your house – the rolls can be cooked all together.