Caramelized Onion and Chevre Dolmas

From Chris Halpin

2011 Nov/Dec

Traditionally, dolmas are stuffed with nuts, currants and rice, or rice and meat, then steamed. This recipe uses cheese and onions, and the dolmas are roasted. The results are surprising and delicious.


  • 2 T. butter
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. crumbled chèvre
  • 1 jar vine leaves in brine (available at Middle Eastern groceries)


Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the butter, onions, oregano, nutmeg, and salt and pepper about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. When the mixture has cooled, add the chèvre and gently mix it in. Remove one bundle of vine leaves from the brine, squeezing out the excess brine. On a work surface, lay 6 leaves flat and remove the stems. Place 1 teaspoon of filling on the end near the bottom, turn the sides of the leaves over the filling and roll the leaves into a cigar-like shape. Place them on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the filling is used. Place the dolmas in the freezer, covered in plastic wrap, for 24 hours before transferring to an air-tight container.

To cook the dolmas, pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Remove them from the freezer and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil or clarified butter and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the leaves are slightly crispy.