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

Pop-Up Dinner, April ’24

Blossom, April Pop-Up Dinner Set For April 11 in St. Paul Get ready to take your taste buds for a wild ride with our awe-inspiring Pop-Up Dinner set for Thursday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Paul Kitchen and Campus! Throughout the year,

Read More »
Nate with bag

Client Meal Delivery Bags

Open Arms Introduces New & Improved Meal Delivery Bags At Open Arms of Minnesota, we approach every facet of our programming with the utmost dedication. We believe that every element, from the tiniest grain of rice to the smallest kernel of corn, holds significance.

Read More »
Mercedes and Hal, clients.

Our Clients In Focus: Mercedes & Hal

Meet Mercedes, one of the nearly 200 caregivers Open Arms is currently serving and her husband, Hal. When Hal was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure last year, Mercedes faced new challenges, including his new diet. When Mercedes needed help, Open Arms entered the picture and changed everything.  

Read More »
End Of Year Giving Graphic

Your Gift Will Help Us Serve More Clients!

Together we can continue to meet the increased demand for medically tailored meals with your support! We hope you think of us as you consider your year-end giving. Your donation is a gift of care, compassion, and encouragement!