Grape Leaf Sarma (Dolma) Revisited


I went to Florida during Memorial Day weekend to visit my family.  It was also the last weekend that my mom’s cousins’ restaurant John G’s was going to be open in the spot it has occupied since 1973.  They had a party celebrating the restaurant that was catered by my mom.  One of the dishes she made was stuffed grape leaves.  Two of my mom’s cousins and my aunt came over the day she was making them and she gave a quick cooking lesson on how to make the grape leaves since they wanted to know how to make something they all grew up eating.

This recipe was one of the first recipes I posted when I started the blog but now I am re-posting it adding the step-by-step photo instructions on how to make them.  Stuffed grape leaves are not difficult to make, they are just time-consuming and it also helps if you have a couple of family members or friends making them with you.


  •  2 cups or rice
  • 3 lbs onion (grind in the largest size opening/food processor)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 1 tbs dill
  • 1 tsp mint
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 small tomato ( seeded, peeled, and chopped fine)
  • salt, pepper, and cinnamon

Sweat the onions on low heat.

Add oil and wilt the onions.

Add rice.

Add spices.

Add tomato and lemon juice. Turn off heat, cover pan and let rest and cool completely.

Cut the stem off the leaf and place a tablespoon of the rice mixture in the middle of the leaf.

Roll grape leaves like a cigar.

Layer a pot or a Dutch oven with foil to prevent any sticking. Place a few leaves over the foil.

Place them one by one in the pot as you roll them, seam side down. You will have 2 levels if you're making 40-50.

Boil 3 cups of water with salt and 1/2 fresh lemon juice. After you have finished rolling and setting, pour boiling water over the grape leaves. Cover with remaining small/broken leaves. Add a flat plate to press down on the grape leaves to keep them from unrolling while cooking. Cook for one hour in a pre-heated 350° oven.

When they are done, use tongs to extract and place in container. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them and set in refrigerator until cool.


3 responses »

  1. This Adam’s Mom…I never drizzle olive oil after they are cooked I dress it up with lemons and sprinkle some of the juices from lemons on top…just saying

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