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Lemony Stuffed Grape Leaves (dolmas)

Stuffed grape leaves come in a variety of flavors, stuffed with lemon, mint, and rice as the base ingredient. Oftentimes, the ingredients aren’t any more adventurous than those few ingredients, yet all it takes is a little imagination to think through the flavor profile. Rice and grape leaves are a must, of course, but it helps to think like someone who lives in the Mediterrean. And for me, that means dates.

Dolmas may seem daunting at first yet let me assure you they are extremely easy to pull off. Sautéing onions with chopped walnuts and dates are the hardest part. From there it is just a matter of rolling up leaves. Simple and the end result are beautiful, delicious and nutritious.



Makes 26-30


  • ¾ cup Riceland Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 6 dates, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 26 grape leaves, bottled in brine
  • 4 slices of lemon




  1. Precook rice in boiling water and set aside.
  2. Saute olive oil and onion for 10 minutes. Add walnuts and dates and cook for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
  3. Add parsley, dill, mint, salt, pepper, garlic and allspice for 5 minutes.
  4. In medium bowl, add sauté mixture, rice and parmesan and mix thoroughly.
  5. Preheat oven to bake 350 degrees.
  6. Remove grape leaves from bottle and unfold.
  7. Grease 9x9 baking dish.
  8. Open one grape leaf and small scoop of mixture in middle of leaf. Fold right leaf in and roll, tucking in ends like a burrito. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Continue until mixture is gone. Makes approximately 26 dolmas.
  9. Place lemon slices on dolmas and drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy!



Post by Lyndi Fultz of nwaFoodie