Tuesday, June 28, 2005
TJ's Taste Test, Part 6 of Many: Dolmas In Olive Oil
I think it was the jar that first attracted me to these stuffed grape leaves at Trader Joe's the other day. It's very attractive--low and hexagonal, donning a sage green label with a small illustration of two grape leaves. I picked it up off the shelf in the canned and jarred foods section and inspected it a bit. Through the back of the jar, I could see the stubby little dolmas standing up neatly in a row, packed in glossy olive oil and sitting on top of a pretty little lemon slice. I had to have it. It was only $2.49 and if they weren't good, I could at least turn the jar into a ghetto votive holder.
Surprisingly, they were quite good for having been from a jar! The dark brownish-green grape leaves were tender and not at all fibrous, but were strong enough to ensure the thing didn't break apart with each bite. Lemony olive oil enhanced the flavor of the soft and grainy rice and onion filling. Because I almost ate half the jar one night as I was cooking, these dolmas have now joined the ranks of "My Favorite Stuff To Snack On While Making Dinner," alongslide chips, cheese, crackers, pickles, and wine. They're also great as an accompaniment to a Greek salad or grilled pita and hummus for a simple Mediterranean- inspired meal.
And as I always seem to find creative uses for Trader Joe's containers, I am now the proud owner of a couple of brand new ghetto votive holders!