Dolma Recipe

Months have passed since the last time I saw my friend from Hungary, so my visit with her this morning was long overdue. She served me homemade tiramisu and we walked around her gardens and greenhouse, picked cherries and grape leaves and a cucumber, and talked over all manner of things.

She taught me how to get my tomato and pepper plants to produce more and gave me bamboo dowels to stake the tomatoes. I came home and applied all her suggestions, and my plants look much better now. That made me happy.

She also explained to me the making of dolma, stuffed grape leaves. I couldn't remember everything she said, but I remembered enough and mixed in a little help from various online recipes and some personal creativity. Here's what I did, in case anyone wants to try (I have no idea where to get grape leaves, but they've got to be available someplace ... the Greek restaurants get them):
  • Brown a pound of ground beef with garlic salt, pepper, and savory. I forgot to put the dill in ...
  • Make rice with about half the usual amount of water so it's soft but not fully cooked (I used 1 1/2 cups rice and 2 cups water)
  • When the rice is boiled dry, throw about a cup of diced onion, a half-stick of butter, and a dash of soy sauce in with it and simmer until the onions are transparent
  • Mix the rice and burger together
  • Bring salted water to a boil and throw the grape leaves (pick large, young, unsprayed ones; you'll need about 4-6 per person plus some for the bottom of the pan) in for about ten seconds
  • Lay a few of the wet grape leaves on the bottom of a 9x13 pan
  • Roll spoonfuls of rice-and-burger mixture into the grape leaves like egg rolls or burritos
  • Lay the rolled-up leaves into the 9x13 pan
  • Pour about two cups of the hot water left from boiling the grape leaves over the rolls
  • Bake for an hour at 350°
  • Serve with sour cream (I put deviled eggs and fresh cherries on the table as side dishes)
Whether the dill would have helped or not, I cannot say ... as it was, I thought it wonderful. Thanks, Elizabeth!

Update: I just added a step that I'd forgotten ... if you don't pour some hot water over the stuffed leaves before baking, the rice will be awfully hard when you take it out of the oven. :P


  1. This sounds absolutely delicious! I really want to try it...although who knows if I'll be able to find grape leaves in MT. At least I live in Bozeman...I'll probably have the best chance for finding them here...maybe at the Co-Op.

  2. Yeah, the Co-Op would be the first place I'd look. I'm going to have to do some research around here. Let me know if you try it!

    I am going to call you soon ... I promise!


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