Makes 10 dolmades

This recipe is by Maria Benardis, Founder of Greekalicious and author “My Greek Family Table” winner of the prestigious 2009 Gourmand World Cook Book Award – Best Mediterranean Cuisine Book. Recipe is from the Book “Cooking & Eating Wisdom for Better Health” (Balboa Press).

This dish is my modern twist on the quintessentially Greek dish; dolmades. Instead of vine leaves I have used another ancient Greek ingredient; Kale.

The ancient Greeks loved to stuff items of food and one of their favorites was to mash foods into a paste and to wrap it in leaves or breads. I believe that kale was one of these ingredients.

I have also used quinoa instead of rice or bulgur as is the tradition. You could use cooked brown white or brown rice instead of quinoa.

For Dolmades mixture

10 large curly Kale leaves, stems removed and washed well

¼ cup, spring onions (scallions), finely chopped

½ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup fresh zucchini, grated

½ cup carrot, grated

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

For dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon, ground cumin

For Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

1 cup Greek style yoghurt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Juice of ½ lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced


Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Set aside and let it cool down. Transfer to a bowl. Place the kale leaves in a steamer and steam them for 5 minutes until they soften. Transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool down to room temperature. Add the remaining ingredients for the dolmades mixture to the quinoa and mix well.

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk. Add the dressing to the quinoa mixture and mix well.

Lay each kale leaf on a flat surface and spoon a generous amount of the mixture on the end where

the stem begins. Fold the sides of the vine leaf over the filling. Then roll the leaf all the way up, starting at the stem end, to form a neat parcel. When you have finished making all the dolmades arrange them on a serving platter.

Place all the ingredients for the yoghurt dipping sauce in a bowl and mix well.

Place the dipping sauce on the side of the platter and serve.

1 litre of chicken stock

1 bay leaf

150 mls double cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Ground nutmeg, garnish

Parsley finely chopped, garnish

4 tablespoons Greek style yoghurt, garnish

©2011 Maria Benardis. All Rights Reserved.