Posts Tagged ‘dolmas’


April 14, 2010

Photo Credit: Channing Kehoe

“This might be the last group trip we ever go on,” Sami and I told ourselves, climbing into the tour bus. We remembered field trips, overnight camping trips in middle school, community service trips, study abroad … we’ve sure been lucky in quantity and quality of trips. This recent spring break trip was through the Gallatin Deans Honor Society, a lofty name for a group of kids and professors that meet every other week to discuss, well, this year, Greece. And then we got to go there. So that was great.

Inspired before we even packed our bags, we experimented with dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), and brought them to our meeting for everyone to try. While these stuffed grape leaves grace many a standard salad bar and can be purchased in the frozen food section of your local grocery store, the homemade version is a different experience altogether. Ask Sami, who wouldn’t even try them the first time we made them — her experience up to that point with the dish was with the dense, turdlike dolmas, which seriously resemble in appearance and texture those owl pellets we used to dissect in science class.┬áBut ask her again now, three or four batches in.

What makes these so special? They are orphanos, or meatless — but hold your association with gelatinous rice filling — ours are stuffed with brown rice steamed with onions, garlic and dill, mixed with chopped raisins and toasted pine nuts and drizzled with olive oil and lemon. And they are remarkably airy inside (due to what many consider a dolma making faux pa, but I would call a fresh idea).

At the bottom of this post we’ve shared our recipe. But first — a little bit about our travels.