Keto Greek dolmades could be the second most popular recipe request I receive on social media. If you’ve visited any Greek taverna, anywhere in the world, you most probably tried Greek dolmades in wine leaves! I admit, I never was a fan of that. I simply don’t like eating vine leaves stuffed with rice. I believe that each of these dishes that include filling cabbage leaves or any similar vegetables should be prepared with meat. For this reason, Keto Greek dolmades, in my version, would have to include ground meat. This way we are lifting the dish to a level of richer nutrients and more appropriate for Ketogenic lifestyle.
Original Greek dolmades with vine leaves
Stuffed grapevine leaves are recognised as Greek dolmades. But, the original version cannot be called Keto Greek dolmades in no case. Why? Because they are filled with rice and spices, almost nothing else. I am sorry, but this never was my cup of tea, before or after Keto switch.
Dolmades can be served as an appetiser or a main course. If you have the opportunity to find fresh vine leaves, blanch them for 2-3 seconds in boiling, salted water with the addition of vinegar. Then, transfer them to a pot with cold water. When they are all ready, let them drain in a strainer. Use a small sharp knife to remove any stems or tough veins. Ath this point, I will make a small revolution and change the Greek tradition of excluding the meat from dolmades!
The land of meat lovers – Herzegovina
I know, it’s difficult to find organic and pesticide-free vine leaves. This is what kept me from presenting this recipe earlier. However, my wife informed me that in her land, Herzegovina, they make dolmades with collard green leaves (they call it Raštika) and always fill it with ground meat. This specific dish is called Japrak and I can say it’s the tastiest version of dolmades I’ve eaten so far. Usually, they serve them with some sour cream and thick tomato-based sauce. This came as a surprise to me. I tried the Ketonised version my wife prepared and concluded: This is better than the original Greek version! Keto Greek dolmades, therefore, will become a bit Herzegovinian. Well, with Greek spices, of course.
Keto Greek Dolmades – tastiest version
In this recipe, I’ll use all those typical Greek spices but follow the Herzegovinian tradition of stuffing the dolmades with quality ground meat. If you wonder why I prefer the meat version, you can find some interesting information in this link – Meat heals. You can use both vine or collard leaves and enjoy the best of both worlds. My Balkan adventure has brought me a lot of joy in Keto food preparation, so I am happy to share it with you!
Keto Greek Dolmades with Herzegovinian twist
- 20 leaves collard or vine organic
- 400 g (1,5 cups) ground beef
- 225 g (1 cup) ground pork
- 6 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground red paprika
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground garlic
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium tomato
- Blanch the vine or collard leaves for 2-3 seconds in boiling, salted water with the addition of vinegar. Lift them with a slotted spoon and transport to a pot with cold water. Let them drain in a strainer. Use a small sharp knife to remove any stems or tough veins they may have.
- For the filling, mix all the spices with ground beef and pork. Add sesame seeds and mix well with your hands.
- Take some of the mixture (approximately a size of a small egg) and place it on one side of collard or vine leaf. Toll it up and tap in the sides.
- In a deep pot preheat the olive oil and sauté chopped onion and garlic. Add chopped tomato and stir well. Place your dolmades in and slowly pour in 1 litre of water.
- Cook over medium temperature for 40 minutes. Serve with some sour cream and lemon slices.