Stuffed "Dolmades" Tomatoes

Dolmades, stuffed grape leaves, have always been a favorite with us. No grape leaves? Here’s another way of enjoying the delicious Greek flavors with easier to attain ingredients! BHL

Serves: 2-4, 1 or 2 large tomatoes per person


2-3 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Suggestions: Any Single Varietal, Garlic, Tuscan Herb, or Thyme, divided

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound lean ground beef or a combination of 1/4 pound lean ground beef and ¾ pound turkey burger if you want a lighter combination

1/4 tsp Kosher salt, more for seasoning

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper, more for seasoning

4 large tomatoes, juice and pulp reserved

1 cup COOKED rice, quinoa, wild rice, or a combination (leftover cooked grain is fine)

¼ cup raisins, chopped

1 tsp thyme

¼ tsp paprika

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp dried mint

2/3 cup fresh dill, chopped fine

Feta Cheese, if desired


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Add 1 Tbsp of Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice to a large skillet on medium heat. Cook the onion for about 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the meat and break it up with a fork as it cooks. Add the salt and pepper.

While this cooks, prepare the tomatoes: Using a paring knife, remove the tops of the tomatoes in a circle as if they were pumpkin tops. Set aside. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the tomatoes being careful to leave about ¾” on the sides, more on the bottom. Reserve the pulp and juice.

When the meat is cooked, add the cooked rice, raisins, thyme, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, mint and 2-3 Tbsp of tomato juice and pulp. Let simmer for 5 minutes, adding a little more juice if needed to keep the mixture moist but not too juicy. Stir in the dill.

Divide the meat mixture into fourths. Stuff each tomato so that they are tightly packed. Replace the tops on the tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining Flying Olive EVOO of Choice, rubbing the outsides and tops so that the tomatoes are lightly coated. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Bake in a baking dish, nestling the tomatoes against each other for support. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The tomatoes should be somewhat soft but still retain their shape. Carefully remove from the baking dish and serve with feta cheese, if desired.

Submitted by Barb L.