How to make Greek Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)

Stuffed grape leaves are a popular summer treat all around the Mediterranean Sea and wherever wine or grapes are grown. Although the origin of this popular treat is unknown, they can be found in Iran, Armenia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, as well as Greece. Of course, each country has its own local variations, but this version is all-vegetarian (see full recipe).

The stuffing is simply rice seasoned with lemon, parsley, and dill. These days, grape leaves come pre-brined in a jar and are ready to use. Making these luscious little bite-sized bundles is a simple folding action that takes less than 10 seconds per roll. Baking the rolled dolmades tenderizes the grape leaves and melds all the flavors. Chill and enjoy this snack with a garlic-yogurt dip on any hot summer day. Or come to my Greek cuisine cooking class this Thursday and see how easy they are to make. 

I'll be making a big batch of Dolmades and 3 other Greek favorites including spanakopita (spinach pie) on July 11 in my "Greek Classics" cooking class. This class is part of my long-running "Flavor Principles of Ethnic Cooking" series at Urbana Park District's Phillips Recreation Center. Full menu and details are here: (as of today, there only 3 seats left!).

All my cooking classes are for adults and the tuition includes a multi-course dinner complete with wine, beer, and/or cocktails. Do come hungry and thirsty because these classes are "dinner party-style" events where we'll be tasting and eating everything that will be made that night. Whenever possible, students will also get to participate by helping me make a dish or two. I'll also share all the tips and tricks I know on how to get from A to B to Z quickly and efficiently.

More information about my cooking classes and pop-up events can always be found on my website, where you'll also find over 150 recipes from my classes (no ads!). You can also subscribe to my email newsletter or follow me on Instagram or Facebook and like my posts. Bon app├ętit!