Greek Dolmades

In celebration of International Sauvignon Blanc day on May 3rd, Dancing Poly Farm & Food  has provided a recipe that will pair nicely with your favorite Lake County Sauvignon Blanc.

Dancing Poly's Dolmades
If possible, pick your own grape leaves and blanch until tender.

Attributes of a good dolmades grape leaf:

  • Small
  • Young
  • Not exposed to direct sunlight for more than two hours a day
  • Small veins

If it’s not possible to pick your own grape leaves, then use the jarred grape leaves at the grocery store. As they are jarred in a brine, these leaves will result in a stronger, saltier flavor. Adjust for salt accordingly.


Makes approximately 2 dozen

1 lb ground veal
2 lb ground lamb
1 large onion, grated
8 TB Italian parsley, finely chopped
5 TB fresh dill, finely chopped
¾ cup medium grain rice, uncooked
2/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 lbs fresh grape leaves, blanched*
4 TB butter, cut into pieces
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, warmed
2 eggs
5 TB fresh lemon juice
* Use 1-1/4 lb canned grape leaves, rinsed, if fresh can not be gathered

Make the dolmades

  1. In a large bowl thoroughly combine veal, lamb, onion, parsley, dill, rice and half the oil, season with salt and pepper
  2. Lay grape leaves on a flat surface, shiny side down
  3. Place a TB of filling in each grape leaf and roll as a burrito (flap up sides and then roll)
  4. Pack the dolmades tightly, seam side down, into a heavy bottom dutch oven or large saucepan
  5. Pour in remaining oil, dot with butter
  6. Invert a heat proof plate over the dolmades, inside the pan, which will keep the dolmades from coming apart
  7. Carefully pour in the warmed chicken stock
  8. Over medium heat, simmer 40 minutes or until half the liquid is absorbed and parcels are tender

Make the egg lemon sauce

  1. Remove from heat and remove plate, tilt pan to ladle out 1 cup of pan juices
  2. Transfer to blender, let cool slightly to warm
  3. Slowly blend in lemon juice and eggs

Poor juice mixture over dolmades

Let stand, entirely off heat, 15 minutes

Sprinkle with pepper and serve

About Dancing Poly

Bess Giannakakis, co-founder, co-owner, chef and all around handyperson of Dancing Poly Farm, has been a professional chef for more than 30 years. She has worked in some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis MN and founded the Colossal Café featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives. Most recently she was the chef at our Gateway Guesthouse in Austin TX, creating extraordinary dishes and events for our guests. Now she brings her culinary talents directly to you.

Though she fuses American, French, Greek, Italian, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish and Mexican flavors and techniquesin her dishes, her food is often billed as ‘straightforward’, ‘authentic’ and ‘honest’. This eclectic mix is born of her heritage, history and world travels. The culinary results spring from Bess’s heartfelt belief in real food, for real people.

In addition to her chef and restaurant ownership experiences, Bess is sought after to deliver fine cooking lessons and demonstrations. She has been Food Safety Certified for more than 20 years and is often consulted regarding the many concerns of food safety within the real world environment of cooking for the public.

Blaise Bahara is co-founder, co-owner, operations and creative director as well as the farmer for Dancing Poly Farm. She worked extensively as an executive and consultant with Fortune 500 corporations and as the owner and operator of her own events management and interior design firms.


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