Dining In: Greek Meze

Small dishes that pack a lot of punch.

By Chef David Lapham | Photography by Whitney Lawson

In Greece it’s not uncommon to make an entire meal out of the small plates known as meze. Often accompanied by a glass of potent ouzo (an anise-flavored liqueur), popular meze include saganaki (pan-seared cheese), taramasalata (fish-roe dip), tzatziki (garlic-yogurt-and-cucumber sauce) and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), which we show you how to make here. Opa!

Stuffed Grape Leaves

1 jar brined grape leaves

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/3 cup for cooking dolmades

1 cup diced onion

1/4 cup finely chopped dill

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup finely chopped mint

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 cup long-grain rice

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

lemon wedges for garnish

Rinse the grape leaves in water. In a skillet heat the 2 Tbsp olive oil and cook the onion over low heat until soft, about five minutes. Add the dill, parsley, mint, pine nuts and rice and cook the mixture about two minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Add ½ cup water and stir until the water has evaporated. Set aside to cool. Line the bottom of a large pot with a few grape leaves.

To create a dolmade, place another leaf, ridged side up, on a cutting board. Snip the stem with scissors. Place a spoonful of the cooled filling on the leaf, fold it over once, tuck the sides in and finish rolling. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

Place the dolmades, seam side down, in the pot you lined with grape leaves and add the lemon juice, the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil and 2 cups water. Weight down with a plate, then cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and allow the dolmades to cool. Arrange on a platter and garnish with the lemon wedges.

Makes 25–30.

STAY
RCI® affiliated resorts in Greece include:
Nostos Village Mandatory Halfboard RA12
Be sure to take advantage of the on-site scuba diving school and beachside tennis courts. Tzaneria, Skiathos
Member Review: “The food was wonderful.”
For complete member review (as member review has been condensed) and additional resort listings, visit RCI.com or call 800-338-7777 (Weeks) or 877-968-7476 (Points). Club Members, please call your specific Club or RCI telephone number.

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Non-RCI affiliated resort:
Bourtzi Boutique Hotel
8 Moraitou, Skiathos; 011-30-2427-021-304; hotelbourtzi.gr; doubles from $99 a night*
  • *Prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.
  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: Spring 2016