We love eating dolmas, but they're one of those dishes that we usually get at restaurants instead of attempting at home since the vine leaves seem like a lot of work. Now that we've found cans of dolmas at Trader Joe's for the very affordable price of $2.49 (for 10 dolmas), it's probably even more unlikely that we'll try making them anytime soon.
The TJ's version wraps up rice, onions, dill, spearmint, and black pepper inside the vine leaves. To keep them moist and fresh in the can, they're soaked in (a lot of) soy oil. Before we tried the dolmas, we had heard some people remark that they were too oily. I suppose if you were to just eat them right out of the can dripping with oil, that's probably true. But it's pretty simple to just blot them on a towel or drain them well or something similar if you're worried about the oil.
We ended up eating them with some rice pilaf, so after draining them a little bit, we just set them on top of the rice. The rice soaked up whatever soy oil was left on them, so they were no more oily than any dolmas you get at a restaurant. And at a restaurant, you're certainly not getting 10 of them for $2.49. That price is such a great deal.
As for the dolmas themselves, they taste good, very light and fresh. Maybe not quite as good as a great Mediterranean restaurant, but certainly good enough to satisfy any dolmas craving we have. If someone put these out on a platter at a party, we would never have guessed they were canned and from TJ's. Good quality buy.