If you know anything about Greece, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about Greek food. This remarkable country has plenty of delectable food to offer, but there are certain dishes that Greece is best known for, such as Souvlaki, Mousaka, and of course, frappe coffee.
The deeper your knowledge of Greece and its lands, the more you discover the country’s wide variety of incredible foods! Let’s learn about traditional Greek specialties.
A well-known dish is dolmadakia, or dolmades, which are stuffed leaves, usually vine/grape or cabbage leaves. Dolmadakia stems from the word “dolma,” which comes from the Turkish verb “doldurmak,” meaning to stuff or fill. The leaves are filled with minced meat, rice, parsley, and different spices. When the “home” of these same ingredients are peppers, tomatoes, or zucchini rather than leaves, the masterpiece is called “Gemista.”
For those that are not familiar, vine leaves pack in a lot of nutritional value. Not only are they low in calories, but they have sufficient levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Furthermore, grape leaves have curative properties for both the body and mind, as studies show they can help combat memory loss while keeping the body young. This traditional Greek dish stays true to the Greek folk saying, “healthy body, healthy mind.”
Fresh or jarred vine/grape or cabbage leaves – 205 grams (~60 leaves)
Rice – 1½ cups
Olive oil – ½ cup
Water – 3 cups
Juice of 1 lemon
1 onion, finely chopped
Add to taste:
Parsley or Mint
- Start by prepping your leaves. For fresh leaves, wash them thoroughly, remove the stems, and blanch them in boiling hot water. Place aside to cool down. For jarred leaves, rinse them thoroughly, remove stems, and place them aside.
- Next, sauté the olive oil and onions in a large pan.
- Add the rice and stir for one minute, then add water and let it simmer. Once the water starts to evaporate, add lemon juice, herbs, and spices.
- Stuff each leaf with one spoonful of the mixture, and roll the leaves. Here is a helpful video showing you how to easily roll the leaves.
- Put the stuffed leaves in a large pan with one cup of water and a bit of olive oil. Cover the pan and cook for half an hour on low heat. Once removed from the heat, let cool for 30 minutes. They are now ready to serve or to refrigerate for later.
Dolmadakias are delicious when eaten both cold and warm.
This vegetarian recipe is both vegan and gluten-free, but minced meat serves as a great addition to the filling!
PRO TIP: eat with feta cheese, yogurt or tzatziki, and squeeze some extra lemon juice over them before you eat!
Getting excited about the traditional tastes of Greece? Stay tuned to learn more about Greek food! With hopwave, you can discover the best of the Greek experience.