Everyone knows dolmades, but most people have tasted them either "yialantzi," with a vegetarian herb, onion and rice filling, served with Greek yogurt, or with ground meat and rice, sometimes served with either egg-lemon sauce, avgolemono, or bechamel. Here is a regional recipe from Halkidiki in Northern Greece, for vegetarian stuffed grape leaves in fresh tomato sauce. I highly recommend you serve this with one of Greece's fine rosé wines. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here
, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
Dolmades may be served hot, warm, at room temperature or cold. If using fresh grape leaves, pick them early, around May in the Mediterranean, and in early June in most other places, when they are tender. You can blanch and freeze them for use all year round.