Homemade Greek Style Dolmades
These delightful tapas truly capture the tantalising taste of the Mediterranean region. Dolmades or vine leaves stuffed with herbs and rice make the perfect finger food for any occasion. While they can often be found pre-made at your local deli, such as the Food Lover's Market or bought canned, nothing compares to the freshness and taste quality in these bite-sized snacks as making them yourself.
● 30 vine leaves, drained and rinsed
● 150g of white rice (1/2 cup)
● 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
● 1 onion finely diced
● 1 cup of warm water
● The juice of 1 lemon
● 1 Tbsp dill, finely chopped
● 1/4 a cup parsley, finely chopped
● Salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove the stems of the vine leaves and place them in a colander to drain.
2. Rinse the rice in running water and heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1/3 of the olive oil and the chopped onions. Gently cook the onions, until translucent then add the rice. Pour in 1 cup of warm water and half lemon juice and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the rice is parboiled. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the herbs, remove from the stove and set aside to cool.
3. Place one vine leaf shiny side down on a flat surface and add about 1 tsp of the filling at the bottom end of the leaf where the stem used to be. Fold the lower section of the leaf over the filling towards the center; bring the two sides in towards the center and roll them up tightly.
4. Layer the bottom of a large pot with some vine leaves, use the ones that are a little bit torn, and start rolling the dolmades. Place the stuffed vine leaves folded side down on the bottom of the pot and layer snuggly. Be careful not to leave any gaps between the dolmades to prevent them from cracking open when cooking.
5. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Place an upside down dinner plate on top to hold them down while cooking and pour in enough water just to cover them. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.
6. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Dolmades can be made vegetarian like the above recipe or for a meatier option try this Turkish Dolmades recipe from Samantha at The Little Ferraro Kitchen http://ow.ly/kAzA30nEz1m. Serve at room temperature with a creamy Greek Yoghurt dip and enjoy with good friends and a glass of white wine.
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Author: Lillian Rencken