Dolma (Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice)

  • Serves

    makes 25


This recipe for stuffed grape leaves, from chef Lior Lev Sercarz, an expert in spice blending, uses both lemon juice and zest to enhance the flavor of the stuffing. This recipe first appeared in our May 2013 issue with Gabriella Gershenson's article The Promised Land.

What You Will Need


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 12 cup long-grain rice
  • 12 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 oz. dried Turkish apricots, minced
  • 12 cup minced cilantro
  • 13 cup minced parsley
  • 14 cup golden raisins
  • 14 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp. minced mint
  • 2 tbsp. red currant jelly
  • 18 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon
  • 25 grape leaves packed in brine, rinsed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


Step 1

Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring, until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add rice, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, 22-24 minutes. Stir in apricots, cilantro, parsley, raisins, nuts, mint, jelly, cayenne, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper.

Step 2

Heat oven to 375°. Working with one leaf at a time, stuff the grape leaves (see How to Stuff Grape Leaves). Place stuffed grape leaves seam side down in a single layer in an 8" x 8" baking dish. Add remaining stock and distribute lemon slices over grape leaves. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let grape leaves cool before serving.

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