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Kremmydia Gemista (stuffed onions)

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Kremmydia Gemista, which means stuffed onions is a recipe my mother would often make.   She would make the same filling  as for koupepia, with or without the minced meat, depending on the occasion.

The filling I have made is not how my mother used to make but I used different other vegetables combined with rice.

Back to my mother’s recipe.   I can’t say that we were very fond of the dish when we were kids as we used to hate onions.  The same applies now with my daughter.  She doesn’t like onions and this is the reason that I made some stuffed vine leaves as well.  If you can’t find vine leaves see my other recipe using silverbeat leaves (Swiss chard).

If you want to make this dish only with onions you will have to use more onions as each one will make 3 – 4 maximum 5 cases.  To make the cases you must choose big onions, preferably the red ones, which are sweeter and after peeling them cut through to the middle and gently start removing each layer.

What remains and cannot be used will be used in the filling.

When making the filling you must make sure that the rice is not cooked and after adding the other ingredients mentioned, you have to remove it from the heat.    Place each stuffed vine leave in the saucepan, making sure to put them close to each other so that they don’t have room to move during boiling.  Place the onions on top and then put a plate on top as well.  This will also help to prevent them from moving so they will not open.  After putting the plate on top, add the remaining tomato and water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for half an hour.

If you have some leftovers the dish tastes even better the following day served cold.


If you are wondering about the potatoes you see in the plate, they are not French fries but they are healthy and most delicious baked potatoes.

To accompany this dish, I cut three potatoes in wedges, sprinkle salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano.  I add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of one lemon and 3 – 4 tablespoons of water.  I wrap them in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil and bake them for 1 hour at 180 degrees C and they taste fantastic.

Kremmydia Gemista (Stuffed Onions) and Dolmades Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  1 hour

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves:  5 – 6


3 tbsp olive oil

40 vine leaves

3 large red onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 spring onions, only white part, finely chopped

5 – 6 button mushrooms, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, grated

1 small eggplant, finely chopped

1 tin tomatoes (500 grams)

1 tsp tomato paste

½ cup white dry wine

½ cup chives, finely chopped (optional)

2 tsp dried mint

1 cup Carolina rice or other short grained rice suitable four soups

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ cup olive oil

2 Cups water


Boil the vine leaves for 10 minutes and remove to a colander.

Then boil the onions for 5 minutes, remove to a colander until they can be handled.  Cut one side of the onion, to the centre and then carefully remove each layer of onion, folding it, so as not to break.

In a sautéing pan heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and the garlic until translucent.

Add the mushrooms and sauté.  Add the grated carrots and the eggplant and sauté.  Add the rice, sauté for a couple of minutes and add the wine.

Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and dried mint.

Add ½ cup of the blended tomato and mix.

Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley and the chives.

Wrap the vine leaves and place in a saucepan.

Take an onion leaf, unfold and add some of the stuffing and fold again.  Just follow the shape of the onion. Place them on top of the stuffed vine leaves.

Add the olive oil and remaining tomato.  Season with additional salt.

Add half the water and gently shake the saucepan.  Add a plate, the size of the pot, on top.

Add the remaining water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.



This is my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, created by Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen and now conducted by Haalo, of Cook (almost) anything at least once.  This week’s host is Anna, from Anna’s Cool Finds.

Next week it will be my turn to host so hope to see some of your lovely recipes.

I am taking an involuntary small break from blogging as I am having my house painted and there’s too much work to be done.  My computer is now out of reach as it is covered to be protected (unfortunately I do not have a laptop) and I use my daughter’s computer when she is not home.  I have programmed a few posts for the next few days and hope to be visiting you whenever I have some free time.

How to.. preserve vine leaves

Dolmades me Avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce)

Koupepia me ampelofylla (stuffed vine leaves with tomato)

Koupepia me Lahana and not Lahanodolmades (Koupepia with Swiss Chard)

Dolmades Gialantzi (vegan)

Kolokythia Gemista (Stuffed Courgettes)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Tuesday 31st of March 2009

What a great post, and this looks so delicious! Good luck with the painting. I'm managing to survive my house renovations, but it is hard to get your blogging mojo going when life is in turmoil.


Monday 30th of March 2009

I love the stuffed onions and I prefer using red onions for both cooking and salads. The eggplant and mushrooms make the filling all that more substantive.


Monday 30th of March 2009

This is a lovely posting, I can hardly wait to try stuffing some according you your very detailed directions! Thanks for participating in WHB, and I'll see if I can do something for your hosting time next week.


Saturday 28th of March 2009

That potato recipe is now officially on my "to try" list. What a nice alternative to french fries.


Friday 27th of March 2009

Thanks everybody for the lovely comments.

Dharm, fortunately these onions do not make me cry.

Pixen, you have a grape tree in a pot? Actually now is the best season to get fresh vine leaves and maybe for a couple of more months because afterwards they are not edible. The leaves should be at least 10 cm wide in order to be able to fold them. However, you can get them brined in supermarkets selling Eastern European or Middle Eastern products.

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