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Dolmades: From Foraging, To Table

12:28 PM

Back in June I picked and pickled a jar of wild grape leaves when I found them newly growing on the vines in the hedgerow by our house.  A couple weeks later, I've decided to turn them into dolmades!  They were fairly easy to put together, and I loved the flavor combination.

Upstate New York Wild Dolmades
1 cup al dente cooked brown rice
1 onion chopped fine
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp dry parsley
olive oil to coat pan

Cook onion, fennel seed, garlic and parsley with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until onion becomes translucent.  Mix in brown rice over low heat.  
Transfer filling mixture into a bowl and let cool. 

Open the jar of grape leaves and spread each individual leaf out on a flat surface.   Reserve the liquid in the jar.

There should be just enough filling for an entire jar of leaves (about 30-40, depending on the size of the leaves).

Roll filling inside of the leaves to form little "cigar" shapes

 and put the formed dolmades into a skillet.  Fill the skillet with the liquid from the grape leaf jar and additional clear water until liquid is half way up the dolmades.  
Cover and simmer on low until the grape leaves are fork tender (very quick for early-season leaves).  

Either eat warm, or chill and serve. 


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