Stuffed grape leaves, or Dolmades, are delicious little bundles filled with rice and ground meat. The name comes from the Turkish word “dolma” which means stuffed. I prefer the vegetarian variety filled with rice, shredded vegetables and sometimes pine nuts. I’ve never thought of eating a leaf before I tried the stuffed grape leaves but this particular leaf is really tasty. And let’s face it, anything that I can tie to wine is ok in my book.
In fact, I prepared the dish I’m sharing here for a wine tasting dinner party I hosted. I decorated with grapes and grape leaves so I thought it quite appropriate to serve grape leaves as a part of the meal. Even the appetizers were in theme as I made my roasted grape bruschetta. Ok, I’ll admit it, I was proud of myself about this meal. And like I always say, it’s not bragging if it’s true!
It sounds a bit intimidating but the method is really easy and the meal comes together quickly as fish is a quick cooking meal. Serve it with a simple rice or grain and a vegetable and it’s a beautiful dinner. Plus, it looks fancy; your guests will think you’re very gourmet!
- Four 6-8 ounce salmon filets
- 8-12 large grape leaves in brine - I buy mine in a jar at my local supermarket
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed)
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the salmon filets in a shallow dish or pie plate.
- Rub the fish with the lemon juice and sprinkle with the dill, lemon pepper and salt to taste.
- Let the fish stand for 15 minutes.
- Rinse and drain the grape leaves to remove the brine.
- Pat the grape leaves dry with a towel.
- Place 2-3 overlapping grape leaves on your work surface.
- Place one salmon filet in the middle of the grape leaves.
- Wrap it by first bringing up the bottom end, then wrap the sides in toward the center and roll the salmon up like a burrito.
- Place the wrapped fish onto a nonstick baking sheet that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Lightly brush the tops of the grape leaves with olive oil (just a bit).
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot on top of the rice or grain of your choice.