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Dolmades Avgolemono ©

April 5, 2012

A wonderful traditional Greek recipe.
For the diligent Cook !
6 Persons


200 g Vine Leaves, fresh or preserved

700 g Good mince meat ( no fat )

3 tbs chopped mint

2 tbs chopped fennel leaves ( anitho )

4 spring onions, finely chopped

100 g ‘ Glacé ‘ rice, pearly medium graine.

1 tsp or more salt and pepper

50g butter

1.5 lemon juice

2 tbs olive oil for mince

2 tbs olive oil for stock

300 ml chicken stock or water


Avgolemono Sauce

2 egg yolks

2 tsp corn flour

2 tbs cream

salt and pepper

Lemon juice to taste



1. Blanch the vine leaves in boiling salted water for 2 mins and drain in colander, having refreshed under cold water.

2. Place mince meat in bowl together with the other finely chopped ingredients, rice, salt and pepper, and a little olive oil and mix together.

3.Line a wide based saucepan with the tougher looking leaves.

4. Place 1 tsp of the mince meat mixture onto the vine leaf, rough side up, fold as in the picture and end off with a gentle squeeze.

5. Arrange in saucepan, until all the leaves are used up, sprinkle with salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and pieces of butter.

6. Place a large plate on the top to cover almost completely and pour over the stock or water until the dolmades are just covered.

(You want plenty of liquid for the sauce. )

7. Simmer ‘gently’ for one hour until the leaves are tender.

8. Once cooked and leaving the plate on top to hold the dolmades in position with the aid of oven gloves, pour off the liquid into a stainless steal saucepan, ready to make the avgolemono sauce. ( don’t use non-stick pan, it could colour sauce. )


Avgolemono Sauce

1. Mix together the corn flour and lemon juice, slaking it with a fork.

2. Add the above liquid slowly, to the beaten egg yokes.

3. Add one tbs at a time the liquid from the dolmades, 4 tbs. in all.

4. Return this to the saucepan and heat very gently, until thickened. DO NOT BOIL. Add cream. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon, dilute a little with stock so that it pours easily.

5. Just before serving, pour sauce over dolmades, which you have arranged on a warmed serving dish .

N.B. If you keep dolmades warm in oven, cover with tin foil, or leaves will blacken and dry out. The secret to them not bursting open is a) not to put more than a tsp of mixture in the leaf b) not to boil them to rappidly, simmer and c) a heavy plate on top while cooking.


Wash thoroughly spring onions and fennel. This is best done by leaving any vegetable or herb in salted

water for 3 minutes and then rinsing with several waters. The salt kills any bugs!

Choose nice fresh mint leaves.

Chop mint.

Mix all your ingredients together.

When you don’t have fresh fine leaves off the vine or from the local market, this particular make, which are

preserved are excellent. It is important to choose the thinner leaves, if they are big with a large stalk, they

will be tough. Use the tough ones for lining the saucepan.

Blanch the leaves in boiling water for tow minutes. No more or they will disintegrate. Drain in colander

and refresh with cold water.

With the underside of your leaf upwards, place on plate and add a small tea spoon of filling.

Begin folding as in the photograph.

Now fold in one side, then the other and lastly fold over last part of leaf.

Fold over again, any part that remains and squeeze lightly in the palm of your hand.

The final result should be like this. Keeping them small is important.

Line base of your saucepan with the coarser leaves to prevent dolmathes burning.

Begin to arrange them tightly in your saucepan, side by side……some don’t always come out text book


Keep adding….

When bottom is filled, start a new layer.

Finally cover with pieces of butter and a good grind of salt and pepper.

Place suitably sized plate on top to keep domades together.

Pour over boiling water, or chicken stock if available so that the water is just visible at the side of the plate

and a little olive oil.

Beat eggs together lightly and add cornflour “slaked” with lemon juice.

“To Slake” is a cooking term meaning to add a liquid to a powder and mix with a fork.

Once dolmades are cooked. Try one to test. They should melt in the mouth. Pour off liquid, keeping plate

on top and holding it down, to keep them together.

Add 2 ladles of hot liquid to egg mixture and then return to rest of liquid in saucepan, in this order, so as not

to curdle the  eggs.

Place over a medium heat and  stirring continuously bring up to the boil, but DO NOT

allow to boil. This is important, or eggs will curdle. You need to stay with your saucepan and be patient!

Your sauce will thicken into a lovely lemony sauce. Taste, add salt or lemon if required, or a little warm

water if too thick. The final result should be a “Coating” Sauce.

A “Coating” sauce, should cover the back of the spoon.

Arrange your dolmades on a warm serving dish.

Final Result! Add sauce at last minute, just before serving or it will develope a skin.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    April 5, 2012 6:43 pm

    Looks Delicious!


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