Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #260: Dolmades

Photo credit: Lesya Dolyk/Flickr

Part of the fun of CSA share is figuring out what to do with unusual veggies that might not typically make it into your grocery cart. Recently our Open Farms CSA subscribers received grape leaves in their weekly container, which may have left some folks scratching their heads!

If you find yourself with an abundance of grape leaves this summer, try your hand at making dolmades. These little rolled-up bundles of deliciousness are a traditional Mediterranean/Middle Eastern delicacy.

For the rest of the summer, our CSA shares will be prorated for the remaining amount of the harvest season. Get in on out-of-the-ordinary veggie fun by purchasing yours>>


Adapted from Saveur

Makes about 50


  • Approximately 50 grape leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, chopped finely
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup long-grain rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for garnish


  1. Bring a 5-quart pot of water to a boil. Add grape leaves and cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes. Drain leaves, stem them and set them aside.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallions and onions cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, lemon zest and cinnamon.
  3. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until it begins to toast, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add 1 3⁄4 cups water, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 minutes. Stir in dill, remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
  5. Cover the bottom of a 5-qt. pot with 3 to 4 grape leaves. Place remaining grape leaves on a work surface. Working with one grape leaf at a time, flatten leaf and place 2 tsp. rice mixture in the center. Fold the bottom side of the leaf over the rice mixture and then fold the right and left sides over the top. Roll package to create a tight cylinder and transfer stuffed grape leaf, seam side down, to the pot. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and rice mixture, fitting rolled packets snugly in the bottom of the saucepan.
  6. Whisk remaining oil, lemon juice, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl and add to the pot. Cover stuffed leaves with a small plate to keep them submerged; bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice filling is tender, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove plate and transfer stuffed leaves to a serving dish; pour some of the cooking liquid over the top and serve hot or at room temperature garnished with lemon wedges.

See more weekly recipes>>
Cook with us in the Open Arms kitchen! Sign up for a volunteer orientation>>
Support fresh, delicious meals for people living with life-threatening illnesses by donating to Open Arms>

More from Open Arms

Open Arms Featured By Strong Enough Journalism

Open Arms’ Work Featured In Piece By Strong Enough Journalism Open Arms’s was recently featured in a piece written by Karen Diehl of Strong Enough Journalism. Diehl is a critical care nurse who operates Strong Enough Journalism, a platform in which she explores a

Read More »

Open Arms Thanksgiving Efforts Featured on KARE 11

KARE 11 reporter Samie Solina visited our Minneapolis kitchen during the week of Thanksgiving to talk to volunteers and highlight our efforts to deliver thanksgiving dinners to our clients and their loved ones. She also interviewed Tricia, an Open Arms client. Watch the video

Read More »

St. Paul Kitchen & Campus Opening Soon!

Open Arms is set to open the St. Paul Kitchen & Campus! Here’s everything you need to know!! Open Arms of Minnesota will open our brand-new St. Paul Kitchen and Campus the first week in January, positioning us to serve even more clients in

Read More »