Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe Greek


Vegetarian dolmades are a variation of the traditional dolmades dish that excludes any meat or animal products from the filling. Instead, vegetarian dolmades are filled with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, vegetables, and spices. The grape leaves wrapped in the filling provide a delicate and slightly tangy flavour to the dish.

The vegetarian filling for dolmades typically consists of cooked rice, finely chopped onions, an assortment of fresh herbs like dill, mint, and parsley, as well as additional vegetables such as diced tomatoes or bell peppers. The mixture is seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to enhance the flavours.

These vegetarian dolmades offer a delightful blend of textures and flavours. The rice provides a soft and chewy component, while the combination of herbs and vegetables adds freshness. The grape leaves impart a subtle tanginess and a tender texture, making each bite a satisfying experience.

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Ingredients For Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe 

To cook the vegetarian dolmade use these ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of grape leaves, rinsed and drained (around 40-50 leaves)
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and parsley)
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients for Variation:

  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (can be added to the filling for extra crunch and flavour)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins (can be added to the filling for a touch of sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup of finely diced tomatoes or bell peppers (for added texture and freshness) 

Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe Cooking Direction

Follow this step-by-step cooking direction guide for preparing the Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe:

Step 1: Prepare the Grape Leaves

Open the jar of grape leaves and rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove any brine or excess salt. Drain the grape leaves and set them aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, finely chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and parsley), and finely chopped onions. If desired, you can add optional ingredients like pine nuts, raisins, finely diced tomatoes or bell peppers to enhance the flavour and texture of the filling. 

Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture, then squeeze the juice of one lemon into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then mix all the ingredients until well combined.

Step 3: Fill and Roll the Dolmades

Take a grape leaf and place it shiny side down on a clean surface. Spoon about a tablespoon of the filling mixture onto the centre of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, then roll it tightly from the bottom to the top, forming a compact package.

Repeat the process with the remaining grape leaves and filling mixture until all the dolmades are prepared.

Step 4: Cook the Dolmades

In a pot, arrange the dolmades in a single layer, seam side down, to prevent them from unravelling during cooking. Add water to the pot, ensuring that there is enough to cover the dolmades. Place a heavy plate or lid on top of the dolmades to keep them submerged in the liquid. 

Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer the dolmades for approximately 30 minutes, or until the grape leaves become tender and the flavours meld together.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Once cooked, remove the dolmades from the pot and allow them to cool slightly. Vegetarian dolmades can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or chilled. 

Serve them as an appetizer, a light lunch, or as part of a mezze platter. For an extra touch, serve with a side of tzatziki sauce or a squeeze of lemon to complement the flavours.

Equipment For Preparing Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe

To prepare the Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe, you will need the following equipment:

Large Pot: A large pot will be used to cook the dolmades. It should be deep enough to hold the dolmades in a single layer and allow space for them to cook properly.

Mixing Bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the cooked rice, chopped herbs, onions, and other ingredients to create the filling mixture. It should be large enough to accommodate all the ingredients and allow for easy mixing.

Cutting Board: A cutting board is needed to chop the fresh herbs and onions. Make sure to use a clean and stable cutting board that provides enough space for chopping and prevents cross-contamination.

Knife: A sharp knife will be used to finely chop the fresh herbs and onions. Choose a knife that feels comfortable in your hand and allows for precise cutting.

Strainer or Colander: A strainer or colander is necessary to rinse the grape leaves and drain them before use. Make sure it is large enough to hold the grape leaves and allow water to flow through easily.

Serving Platter: Once the dolmades are cooked and ready to be served, you’ll need a serving platter to present them. Choose a platter that is large enough to accommodate the dolmades and aesthetically pleasing for an appealing presentation.

Heavy Plate or Lid: A heavy plate or lid is required to keep the dolmades submerged in water during cooking. It should be large enough to cover the dolmades in the pot and provide enough weight to prevent them from unravelling.

Cooking Utensils: You will need basic cooking utensils such as a spoon or spatula for mixing the filling mixture and a pair of tongs for handling the grape leaves and transferring the dolmades.

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe

Make use of these expert tips when preparing your vegetarian dolmades: 

Softening the Grape Leaves

If the grape leaves are too tough or stiff, you can blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds to make them more pliable and easier to work with. After blanching, rinse them under cold water to cool them down before using.

Adjusting Filling Quantity

The amount of filling used in each dolma can vary depending on the size of the grape leaf. Adjust the quantity of filling accordingly, aiming for a balanced ratio of filling to leaf. Be careful not to overstuff the dolmades, as it can lead to difficulty in rolling and may cause them to burst while cooking.

Even Distribution of Heat

Arrange the dolmades in a single layer in the pot to ensure the even distribution of heat during cooking. This helps the dolmades cook uniformly and prevents any from becoming overcooked or undercooked.

Securing the Dolmades

Use a heavy plate or lid placed on top of the dolmades to keep them submerged in the cooking liquid. This weight helps to keep the dolmades intact and prevents them from opening up or unravelling during cooking.

Flavour Development

For enhanced flavour, allow the dolmades to sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator before serving. This allows the flavours to meld together and results in a more pronounced taste.

Experimenting with Fillings

While the traditional vegetarian filling consists of rice, herbs, and onions, feel free to experiment and add your twist to the filling.

Consider incorporating additional ingredients like pine nuts, raisins, diced tomatoes or bell peppers to add different flavours and textures to the dolmades.

Vegetarian Dolmades Recipe Greek

Vegetarian dolmades are a delightful Mediterranean dish consisting of grape leaves filled with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, and vegetables. This vegetarian version is a delicious and satisfying option for those who prefer meat-free options.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Greek
Servings 40 Dolmades

Ingredients
  

  • 1 jar of grape leaves, rinsed and drained (around 40-50 leaves)
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, mint, and parsley)
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the grape leaves under cold water and drain.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, chopped herbs, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • (Optional) Add pine nuts, raisins, or diced tomatoes or bell peppers for variation.
  • Take a grape leaf, place it shiny side down, and spoon about a tablespoon of the filling onto the centre.
  • Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and roll tightly from the bottom to the top. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and filling.
  • Arrange the dolmades in a pot, seam side down, and add enough water to cover them.
  • Place a heavy plate or lid on top to keep them submerged.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender.
  • Allow the dolmades to cool before serving.

Video

Keyword cherry tomatoes, chopped onions, Dolmades, raisins

What To Take With Vegetarian Dolmades

To get the best out of your vegetarian Dolmades, you should try to have them with:

Tzatziki Sauce

The tanginess of yoghurt combined with the crispness of cucumber and the garlic undertones create a perfect balance that complements the rich flavours of the dolmades.

Hummus and Pita Bread

A spread of creamy hummus alongside warm, fluffy pita bread is an excellent choice to serve alongside vegetarian dolmades. The earthy tones of chickpeas and the subtle nuttiness of tahini provide a delightful contrast to the zesty grape leaves.

Minty Quinoa Salad

This salad not only adds a burst of colour to your plate but also complements the dolmades with its refreshing and herby notes.

Greek Salad

The combination of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, briny olives, and creamy feta cheese provides a medley of textures and flavours that harmonize with the dolma filling.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant, offer a smoky depth that enhances the overall dining experience. The caramelized edges of the vegetables add a sweet contrast to your dolmades.

Lemon Rice

Prepare a light lemon-infused rice as a side dish to complement the dolmades. The citrusy notes enhance the overall freshness of the meal, creating a harmonious blend of flavours.

Fava Bean Dip

Its mild flavour profile allows the dolmades to take centre stage while providing a luxurious and smooth texture.

Yoghurt and Dill Sauce

Combine Greek yoghurt with chopped dill, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon to create a creamy and herbaceous sauce. This sauce adds a luscious texture and a burst of fresh flavour that complements the dolmades beautifully.

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