Most Greek women use fresh or home frozen grape leaves, and this makes all the difference. During our spring and early summer Keartisanal cooking classes we pick them from the garden. The leaves toughen as the days get hotter, though, so we use our home-frozen ones which work equally well. If you can get hold of even a few fresh grape leaves, use them as flavoring, placing them between the dolmades. Fresh leaves need to be blanched for about 3 minutes, while frozen tender leaves can be used directly after thawing. Make the dolmades one or two days in advance, let them cool in the pot and then store in the fridge. They taste better the next day.
To serve 8-10 as an appetizer (more…)