Grilled Salmon Dolmades, Pine Nut Lemon Sauce

dolmades dolmades, dolma, dolmades image, salmon dolmades

Grilled Salmon Dolmades, Pine Nut Lemon Sauce

grilled dolmades, pine nut lemon sauce

Hello and welcome to the 5 Star Makeover Taverna, a unique virtual restaurant specializing in Greek mezes, featuring a twist on classic ingredients and recipes. My contribution to the Taverna is Grilled Salmon Dolmades with a Pine Nut Lemon Sauce. Here, grape leaves are stuffed with fresh Alaska King Salmon that has been grilled on a cedar plank, along with sticky brown rice, crumbled feta, chopped kalamata olives, and fresh dill. The grape leaves are brushed with olive oil and cooked over a hot fire until the grape leaves start to crisp and char. The tangy sauce is make from pine nuts, lemon, red pepper flakes, dill, and olive oil. Grilled lemons accompany the platters.

my taverna

So come have a drink and nibble on our offerings of small dishes with big flavors, enjoy the conversation and the laughter. And make sure to visit Lazaro Cooks! for the complete menu of super-creative mezes.

Grilled Salmon Dolmades, Pine Nut Lemon Sauce Recipe

grilled dolmades, grilled lemon, greek

Let a one-pound fresh Alaskan King Salmon fillet come to room temperature. Rub with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Top with fresh dill and lemons.

how to cook salmon on cedar plank

Soak a cedar plank in water for a minimum of 2 hours. Fire up the grill, heat the smooth side of the plank directly over the flame. Turn the plank over and brush olive oil on the smooth side. Place the fish, skin side down, on the hot plank.

cedar plank on fire

There is no shortage of excitement here at the Taverna!

salmon cedar plank smoke

Grill on high heat, close the lid and cook the salmon to medium rare. This one-pound fillet took about 15 minutes. You need to keep on eye on the grill as the cedar can catch fire, if it does, douse with some water. Turn down the heat directly under the plank to reduce the likelihood of fire, that is unless you want a fire! Opa! Using a long-handled spatula, lift the plank off the grill and place it on a heat-proof platter and let cool to room temperature.

how to make best dolmades


  • brined grape leaves
  • cooked salmon
  • cooked sticky brown rice at room temperature
  • chopped kalamata olives
  • crumbled feta
  • fresh dill
  •  olive oil

Rinse grape leaves in cool water. Dry completely on towels. Place on a work surface, shiny side down. Cut off the small protruding stem. Place a spoonful of brown rice at the base of the stem. Top with a few flakes of salmon and a small amount of feta, chopped olives, and dill.

how to roll dolmades

Brush the perimeter of the leaf with olive oil. Roll up the base of the leaf, then fold in the sides, and roll into a bundle.

grilled dolmades

Grill dolmades over high heat, turning once or twice, until the center is hot and the leaves begin to crisp and char.

grilled lemons
Cut lemons in half and grill over high heat, cut side down, until nicely charred.

pinenut lemon sauce

Pine Nut Lemon Sauce

  • large handful of pine nuts
  • fresh dill
  • red chile flakes to taste
  • lemon juice from a grilled lemon
  • 1/2 lemon, seeds removed, cut into quarters
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste

Run the first five ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor until roughly chopped. Add enough olive oil to get a chunky sauce consistency. Add salt to taste.

pine nut lemon sauce

Serve grilled salmon dolmades on a platter with grilled lemons in the center. Ladle pine nut lemon sauce over the dolmades, serve extra sauce on the side.

salmon feta olive dolmades

Enjoy Smoky Grilled Salmon Dolmades along with other fabulous mezes at the 5 Star Makeover Taverna, now open here!

The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group hosted by Natasha the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! is an outstanding monthly event for sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations. July’s Mediterranean theme is GREEK MEZE, right on target for the Summer Olympics.

26 thoughts on “Grilled Salmon Dolmades, Pine Nut Lemon Sauce”

  1. First of all, I have to say your pictures are mind-blowingly gorgeous in this post. So beautiful.

    I know the work that goes into dolmades and I am so impressed that you made them for the challenge…and I love the filling you chose!

  2. OMG, absolutely speechless! Everything you prepare is always extraordinary and this is just one of your amazing creations, yet you still impress me with this gorgeous preparation!!! Looks so beautiful, delicious, and I’m in awe…. I can tell how much effort and thoughts are into this dish, and this is why I want to eat your food!!! If you ever open your restaurant, I’ll fly down just to eat!! Off to Laz’s blog.

  3. Stunning! I have never seen dolmades with fish before, so brilliant. The flavors of the sauce and the grilled oranges is so perfect with this dish. Dolmades are fun to make…once you get the hang of it.

  4. I feel absolutely old-fashioned at the moment – love making dolmades, but guess what: they have never contained salmon, plank-grilled or otherwise, and never had such an interesting sauce atop them! this I have to try as soon as I can get my eyes unglued from the Olympics!!

  5. Lori, everything you makes looks better than what you could get at a fine restaurant! Your dolmades look amazing…I’ve never heard of putting salmon in the filling, but they sound incredible. And your food styling/photography is just impeccable.

    PS…Monet’s Table arrived today and will be my bedtime reading! THANK YOU…I just had to peek at the desserts and I’m already inspired 🙂

  6. Wow, the title of your blog really isn’t lying. I seriously am tasting with my eyes right now. And I am full. For all those who need to lose weight, they should come to your blog because they will get full off of looking! 😛 You should write a diet book, LOL!

  7. Stunning – absolutely the most amazing dolmades I’ve ever had! Wish I could taste with more than my eyes 🙂 With grilled salmon, brown rice, and pine nut lemon sauce these are definitely food for the gods.

  8. Ok, aside from the face that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that photo, the dish is fabulous. I made those once with my own grape leaves and was terribly disappointed with the result…they were tough as could be.
    That put me off making them for ever so long. Yours is a lovely version of the dish with the salmon and roasted lemon sauce (I go through 5 lemons a week… mad for them!). I can’t wait to try it.

  9. Oh my, I love this dish and your stunning presentation! I’m really in love with this dish although it’s Greek and somehow it brings back my good memory about grape leave. How do you brine the leave? If you dont’ mind letting me know.. Thanks!

  10. I totally LOVE this post. Creative, artfully presented, and gorgeous photography!!

    With that little piece of salmon peeking out in the last photo, they look somewhat like sushi.

  11. I’ve always loved dolmades with all the different fillings over the years, but I must say, yours with the fabulously grilled salmon tops everything I’ve ever had! My jaw literally just dropped looking at the amount of effort you must’ve put into making these, and just knowing that makes eating this meze a much more pleasurable experience. I want to learn from the Master, that’s you!

  12. I have just been introduced to Lori’s lovely Blog and have become pretty choosy about signing up for any Site lately. But each Post surpassed my expectations so scrambled to get aboard. Blown away. Loved this.

  13. Wondering how many dolmas this recipes makes and if they can be made ahead and served cold/room temp? Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Ivan – I’m sorry but it’s not an exact recipe, you will just have to take my description as a rough guide. I am sure you will love it. The pine nut sauce is fabulous too. You could make ahead, but the crispy char on the leaves and texture of the rice will not be the same. Good luck.

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