Sunday, April 19, 2015

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves

I thought it would be appropriate to start my blog with a recipie I grew up with.  These stuffed grape leaves might not look very appealing but they taste sooooooo good!  This dish can be served as an apetizer or as a main dish.  Stuffed grape leaves are also known as "Dolmas" or "Sarmi".  They are mostly popular in Eastern Europe, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and Italy.  Vegetarians, don't turn down this dish!  These taste just as good without the meat!


8 oz jar of grape leaves + juice in jar 

2 cups white rice 

7 oz ground beef 

7 oz ground pork 

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow onion, minced 

1/2 cup hole carrot, grated and packed

1 medium ripe tomato, chopped 

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped 

1/2 cup sunflower oil 

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp Paprika 

2 tsp Kosher salt

1 medium lemon, cut in half

6 cups water

black pepper to taste 

salt to taste 


   In a deep skillet pour the sunflower oil, bell pepper, carrots, onion, kosher salt and little bit of black pepper. Mix and sauté vegetables for about two minutes on medium high heat. This process makes the oil more fragrant. Add the rice and  paprika to the rice mixture. Continue to sauté for about 3 minutes.  Add 4 cups of water, mix and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Uncover and stir making sure that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the parsley, pork and beef meat. Continue stirring and make sure that the meat is equally distributed in the rice mixture. Add 2 more cups of water and continue to stir until the water is almost gone or until the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Pull off the heat and taste it. If it is too bland it needs more salt. Add salt to taste. Squeeze half of the lemon in the rice and meat mixture and mix well. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large metal baking dish.

   Before you pull out the grape leaves out of the jar make sure to save the leaf juice by pouring it in a bowl. Then you can take the leaves out. Cut the stems of the leaves as short as possible.   On a cutting board take a leaf and lay it flat, glossy side up. Scoop a small amount of rice mixture with a spoon and place it in the center of the leaf. The amount of the rice will depend on how big your leaf is. Try to stuff the leaf as much as possible. Starting from one end of the leaf fold in the rice, trying to avoid big gaps. Place the stuffed leaf in the metal pan with the ends of the leaf facing down. Pat the stuffed grape leaf flat and repeat with the remaining leaves. 

   Make sure to line the stuffed grape leaves tightly. Drizzle with olive oil and pour over the grape leaf juice. Bake for 40-45 minutes. When they are done sqeeze the other half of the lemon. These taste even better the next day when all the flavors have settled. Enjoy!


  1. Zdravei Polina! Vidqh bloga na Instagram kogato haresa snimkata mi na baklavata. Radvam se da namerq drug food blogger ot Bulgaria! :) Nie vsushtnost jiveem sus supruga mi v Huntsville, AL.
    Tezi sarmichki izglejdat mnogo apetitni, i sa edni ot lyubimite mi bulgarski qstiq. Moqt blog mojesh da go namerish tuk:

    1. Zdravei Neli! Mnogo se radvam che mi pisa. Nie jiveem v Salt Lake City, UT. Dano da ti haresat. Prati mi snimki kato gi napravish. Merci za bloga, s udovolstvie shte go razgledam. :)