Crete - Recipe for Dolmadakia


for the filling

- 1 cup risotto rice

- 1 onion

- 1 medium sized carrot 

- 1 cup of dill

- 1 cup of parsley

- 1/2 cup of olive oil

- pepper and salt

- zest of two lemons

for the rest

- 250 grams of vine leaves from a jar

- water

- 1/2 cup of olive oil

- juice of two lemons

- 2 tomatoes


- food processor

- bowl

- cooking pot

- plate that fits inside the cooking pot


making the filling

Chop onion, carrot, dill and parsley very finely (a food processor would come in handy). Mix together the rice, oil, vegetables, lemon zest and herbs in a bowl and add pepper and salt to taste.

stuffing the leaves

Prepare the vine leaves by rinsing them and removing the stems. Then take a leaf and place it flat on the counter, top of the leaf pointing away from you, stem towards you.

Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling on the leaf, depending on the size of the leaf. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the filling (where the stem was), then fold the sides of the leaf towards the middle and roll the filling upwards towards the top of the leaf, like rolling a burrito. Don't roll too tightly, or the leaf will tear when the rice expands.

cooking the dolmadakia

Cut the tomatoes into thick slices. 

Line the bottom of the cooking pot with vine leaves, then place the dolmadakia in the pot, seam of the leaf downwards. Pack them tightly to prevent them from unraveling. Then cover the dolmadakia with slices of tomatoes. 

Fill the pot with water until the dolmadakia are just under water and place the plate on top. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, add the olive oil and the lemon juice and let simmer for another 30 minutes. Use medium heat, or the vine leaves will burn and leave a bad taste.

Let everything cool for 20 minutes before taking them out of the pot, or the dolmadakia might be too fragile and fall apart.

Keeps in the fridge for a couple of days.

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