Dolmades are the Greek version of stuffed vine leaves, a dish which is found widespread across the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Inevitably there are many variations and a variety of ingredients and flavourings. This vegan recipe is fairly classic, using a stuffing of rice and black olives with Mediterranean herbs.
I have a grape vine growing over an arch at the bottom of my small garden. The last couple of years it has grown madly, and regardless of how hard I cut it back, it always regrows with amazing vigour. Even here in the UK, it produces bunches of very small but sweet and juicy grapes, which is a bonus, as I grow the vine mainly to create a canopy of dappled shade in the summer.
So, I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while; making Dolmades from scratch, using freshly picked vine leaves. However, you can find packs of vine leaves that have been preserved in brine, in certain stores, such as delicatessens.
There’s a bit of faff involved, but I think it’s worth it, particularly with the right flavourings.
The thing that surprised me….probably because I’d never really thought about it, is that Dolmades are made with uncooked rice, and the rice cooks once the Dolmades have been made, rather than stuffing the Dolmades with rice that has been pre-cooked…. so the rice really absorbs the flavours as it cooks….
and in this recipe, mint and lemon juice play leading roles.
Dolmades are just incredibly moreish…they really are 🙂
…and they transport me straight to a little taverna on a quiet beach in Greece…heavenly…
Hope you enjoy!
makes 22-24 individual Dolma
Ingredients: Continue reading “Dolmades”