We have already presented a Turkish preparation of stuffed vine leaves, Sarma.
There we have also described how to handle the vine leaves.
Now follows a Greek recipe:
Spring onions, fresh herbs and lemon are indispensable. We like to supplement this with lime.
Then follows some work with the knife. We finely chop one medium onion and two cloves of garlic. Also, the scallions including the green part, only roots and wilted parts are removed. Parsley, dill, cilantro and mint are chopped.
Onion, garlic and scallions are sautéed in a generous portion of olive oil (about half the amount given at the end of the recipe) for about 5 – 6 minutes over medium-high heat until translucent without browning.
During this time, round grain rice is briefly washed in a sieve and drained. Then the rice also goes into the pan and is lightly toasted for a few minutes, as in the preparation of a risotto, and coated with the olive oil.
Next, water is added, the same weight as the rice used. Our recipe calls for 200 g of rice, so we measure out 200 ml of water. This is too little water to cook the rice fully, but it shall come to that later, when the vine leaves have been filled.
We increase the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then we cover with a lid and immediately reduce the heat to low. After only about 5 minutes, the rice has completely absorbed the water.
Now we season to taste with salt and black pepper….
…let the mixture cool a bit and then add the chopped herbs. In addition, we now grate the green part of the peel of a lime finely over the mixture (such grating of peel is called zest in the kitchen).
The peels of citrus fruits are their most aromatic part. However, if you want to use them, you should make sure to buy products that are as little treated as possible and, what’s more, thoroughly wash them under hot water.
We line the bottom of a medium sized pot with some vine leaves, this way our stuffed specimens will not come into contact with the bottom of the pot later, where they could easily burn. On top of this we place slices of a lemon. We squeeze the lime, whose peel we have already processed, and any remnants of the lemon over it.
Then we wrap a tablespoon of our rice filling in each vine leaf. How to do this, we have also explained here.
The stuffed vine leaves are placed seam side down in the pot, on top of the lemon slices and as close together as possible. In our case it became two layers. Then the rest of the olive oil is poured over them.
Next, we put a plate on top of the vine leaves, just a little smaller than the pot. This plate ensures that the vine leaves do not move during cooking and keep their shape. Water is then poured over them so that everything is well covered.
The water is brought to a boil once, then the heat is immediately reduced so that the vine leaves simmer very gently, for 45 minutes. Then we let the liquid cool and pour off the water.
Done are the dolmades, a typical appetizer of Greek cuisine. They are a vegan preparation and can be kept in the refrigerator up to about 5 days. In Greece they are mostly served with yogurt and olives.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients ( for up to 6 people as a starter):
1 bunch green onions
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
120 ml olive oil – Greek, of course 😉
200 g round grain rice, e.g. Italian Arborio
½ bunch each of parsley, dill, coriander and mint
Salt and pepper