Greek Dolmades 'Dolma' - Chef Cynthia Louise
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Greek Dolmades ‘Dolma’ — Stuffed Grape Leaves

Mediterranean food has this amazing ability to take our taste buds on a real adventure. And when we talk about that, Greek Dolmades are like the shining star. These little wonders, also called Dolma, are basically stuffed grape leaves that pack a punch of flavors and a whole lot of tradition. What’s super cool about them is that they’re perfect for vegans, folks avoiding gluten, or those who just want to skip the meat.

A Brief Glimpse into History

Dolmades have a storied past that stretches across centuries and cultures. Originating in the Middle East, this delectable dish was embraced by Greek cuisine and subsequently spread throughout the Mediterranean region. The word “dolma” derives from the Turkish verb “doldurmak,” which means “to fill” – a fitting description for these grape leaves that encase a flavorful stuffing. Today, Dolmades have become a symbol of cultural appreciation and culinary fusion, not only in Greece but also in various countries around the world. Moreover, each culture not only infuses its own unique twists but also demonstrates a commitment to diligently preserving the essence of this culinary gem. Additionally, this diverse approach highlights the global appreciation for Dolmades and showcases how culinary traditions can evolve while staying rooted in their origins.

Ingredients: A Symphony of Flavors

Alright, so now let’s really dive into what makes Dolma taste so incredibly delicious. I mean, we’re talking about a flavor party that’s going on with every single bite, you know? To begin, those grape leaves have a vital role. Picture them as the edible wrapping paper that keeps everything intact. They’re soft, they’re green, and they function like small bursts of flavor. Now, shifting our focus to what’s hidden within those leaves. Within, a blend of ingredients combines to craft a burst of flavors. Among these ingredients, you’ll discover rice, contributing a chewy and gratifying texture. Then, you discover an array of fresh herbs – parsley, dill, and mint – all hanging out together. It’s like having the most amazing herb garden right in your dish.

Oh, but there’s more to uncover. Onions jump right into the party, contributing their own touch of zing to the blend. Then, a squeeze of lemon juice enters the scene, introducing a fantastic burst of freshness. It’s like a gentle nudge to awaken your taste buds, making the entire experience even more exciting. So, there you have it. Dolma is this perfect team-up of grape leaves, rice, herbs, onion, and a zesty squeeze of lemon. Plus, these ingredients come together harmoniously to create a truly delightful dish. It’s like a flavor adventure that happens in your mouth. No wonder these things are so irresistible!

Greek Dolmades ‘Dolma’ — Stuffed Grape Leaves

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 300g Vine Leaves
  • 2 Cup of Long Grain Rice (Soak for 1 hour)
  • 3 Onions (1 Chopped in thick rings, 2 chopped roughly)
  • 4 Spring Onion (Chopped)
  • 3 stems Dill (Chopped roughly)
  • Handful of Parsley (Chopped roughly)
  • 1/2 Hand Full Mint Leave Chopped Roughly
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil

  • 1200ml Water (to cover the dolmades)
  • 1/2 Cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup (130g) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp #EASEANDFLOW

METHOD

Preparing the dolmades leaves:
Thoroughly wash the vine leaves to ensure they’re clean and allow them to drain.

Prepare the filling:

In a fresh pan (on medium to low heat), splash some olive oil and add chopped garlic then sauté for 5 minutes. Ensure that the onions are thoroughly cooked – not burned and not brown.
Pour the tomato paste and sauté, cook for 1 minute. Afterwards, put in the garlic powder and oregano. Then, stir well. Once you’ve ensured that all of the ingredients are mixed, you can proceed to put in the soaked rice.
For seasoning, sprinkle salt and pepper then cook for 6-7 minutes.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly to avoid burning. Then, taste and make adjustments if necessary. Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, turn off the heat.
Add veggies and 1 tbsp lemon juice, mix well then set aside.

Piecing Together the Dolmades:

Assemble the dolmades by spreading vine leaves (shiny side down) out on the board, scoop an ample amount of the cooked mixture and carefully wrap.
Fold the bottom part of the leaf over the filling and towards the middle; subsequently, bring both sides in toward the center and tightly roll them up.
Next is to lay each wrapped dolmade on top of the vine leaf base.

Finishing:
Blend together in a cup the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, and water then pour the mixture into the pot. Add enough water to cover the dolmades. Sprinkle salt and pepper to season.
Place a plate on the top and put the lid on.
Cook for 30 minutes by boiling. And then reduce the heat and continue cooking for an additional hour.
Allow the dish to cool for either 30 minutes or a full hour and then proceed to serve.

***

Serve: 25-30 pcs
Prep time: 45 mins
Cooking time: For 1 hour or until the rice is soft and cooked
Freezer-friendly: No

GF, NF, DF, RSF, V, Veg

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With love from my kitchen to yours,

Chef Cynthia Louise xx


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About the Author

Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.

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