Thursday, August 2, 2007


If you like Greek recipes, I think you should try this one. It is different and sounds lovely. After I post the recipe, I will also post a glossary of Greek cooking terminology to help you out or to add to your cookbook.

1- 1 1/2 pounds tender grape-vine leaves

1 1/2 pounds onions

1 cup oil

1 1/4 cups raw rice

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped dill

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Salt & pepper to taste

1 Lemon, juice only

water as needed

lemon wedges (optional)

pine nuts (optional)

raisins (optional)

If possible, buy the prepared grapevines leaves, wash them in clear cold water before using. If you are using fresh leaves, tenderize them first, as follows:

Cut the stems from the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. Was the leaves thoroughly, then throw them into a pot of rapidly boiling water. boil for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the leaves soften. Remove from the water and spread on a platter or tabletop.

To prepare the filling, peel and chop the onions. Put in a strainer and run cold water through them; drain. Saute in the oil to a very light golden color. Add the rice; brown lightly. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups water, and the parsley, dill, mint leaves, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes, until the rice absorbs the liquid but is only half cooked (watch it carefully so it does not stick to the pot).

When filling the leaves, keep the shiny side of the leaf on the outside. Put 1 teaspoonful of filling in the center of the leaf and fold the sides up over it, covering it, then roll it up like a cigar. Lay the stuffed leaves on a pot (open side down so they do not swell open) in even, tight rows. When one layer is completed, make a second layer on top of the first, or a third layer, if necessary. Lay a plate directly on the top layer of dolmathes. Add enough water to the pot to half cover the stuffed leaves, and add the lemon juice. Cover the pot; cook until the liquid has been absorbed and only a slight amount of oil remains (this should take about 45 minutes). Serves 6 to 8.

NOTE: Although these are usually served cold with wedges of lemon, they can also be served hot with Avgolemono Sauce. During the cooking, you may add pine nuts, and/or raisins.



  • Avgolemono - The best-known Greek sauce. Made of eggs and lemon juice, and used to flavor soups, meats, and vegetables.

  • Baklava - A favorite Greek pastry. Crisp phyllo pastry filled with nuts and dripping with honey syrup.

  • Bourekia - Meats or vegetables wrapped in phyllo pastry. Smaller versions are called bourekakia.

  • Copenhagen - A dessert named in honor of King George I of Greece, who had been a Danish prince.

  • Dolmathes - Stuffed grape leaves. Filled with either meat or rice and served hot or cold, with or without avgolemono.

  • Feta - Best known of the Greek cheeses. Made of goats' milk.

  • Fide (Fidelo) - A very fine egg noodle. Sold here a fidelo, fidilini, etc.

  • Floyeres - Phyllo pastry having a long, flutelike shape.

  • Giouvetsi - Greek casserole.

  • Clyko - The word means "sweet" and is used to refer to spoon sweets.

  • Grapevine leaves - Used for preparing dolmathes. Sold in this country in jars, already prepared for use, just rinse before using.

  • Halvah - Dessert made with farina.

  • Imam baldi - A real treat of eggplant and trimmings. Legend has it that in imam (high priest) fainted in delight when served this. Other legends say he fainted at the cost of the amount of oil used.

  • Kasseri - a firm table cheese. Used as a grating cheese. You may substitute Parmesan or Romano cheeses, but these have a stronger flavor.

  • Kataife - Available in Greek pastry or specialty shops. Some people substitute shredded wheat for it with fairly good results.

  • Kefalotiri - A hard cheese very similar to Parmesan.

  • Kimino - Cumin seed. Not too well known but easily available in this country. You will find many uses for its unusual flavor.

  • Lathera - Foods braised in oil, and served in the same oil.

  • Mahlepi - An unusual spice. Must be ground before using. Found in specialty shops.

  • Mastiha -A mild cheese similar to cottage and ricotta cheeses.

  • Mortadella - A salami.

  • Ouzo - A clear liquor flavored with aniseed. Very potent - few can drink it straight. Mix with cold water and it becomes cloudy.

  • Pantespani - Greek sponge cake.

  • Pastes Sardelis - Salt-packed anchovies, served cleaned, and with oil and vinegar.

  • Paximadia - Biscuits served with coffee or tea.

  • Phyllo - a strudel-like pastry dough available in specialty shops.

  • Pilafi - Cooked rice.

  • Renga - Smoked herring.

  • Retsina - National wine of Greece. Resinated drinks are quite unusual and one must acquire a taste for them. Don't feel bad if you cannot.

  • Rizi - Raw rice.

  • Skordalia - Famous Greek garlic sauce. Very, very powerful. Not to be eaten before a theatre engagement or any social event - unless everyone else has eaten it, too.

  • Tarama - Carp roe.

  • Trahana - A homemade noodle used in soups and stews. Now available commercially in specialty shops. Substitute semolina if trahana is unobtainable.

  • Vissino - Sour cherries in a delicious preserve.

  • Vissinada - Sour-cherry preserves mixed with iced water for a cool summer drink.

  • Zampon - Ham.

1 comment:

Rangoo Srinivas said...

This Greek recipe is unique. Thanks for collecting them and making them available for free. My mother's rare South Indian recipes are at and ragi (finger millet) recipes are at

I will return to your blog to try out more of your recipes :)