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Dolmades Recipe

Greek DolmadesThis dolmades recipe is a mixture of Greek and Turkish Mediterranean recipes with our own special twist.
It may look a bit complicated but it is easy to prepare and cook, although many people are nervous to try it. Don't be. We'll show you how to make this classic dish and even introduce you to the fresh tomato sauce that we have developed to go with it.
Basically it's just fresh cabbage or preserved vine leaves stuffed with a really delicious filling. You don't have to serve it with our sauce...you could make up a mixture of diced cucumber, chopped mint and garlic, mixed with greek yogurt and salt....called tzatziki, and serve it on the side. We will put this recipe on the site very soon.
This dolmades recipe is very versatile as it great for vegetarians...but can be adapted for meat lovers as well.
Just follow the step-by-step instructions below for a Mediterranean feast.

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Dolmades Recipe Ingredients

This recipe makes approx 10 large (main course) dolmades using cabbage leaves or approx 36 small (appetizer) using vine leaves. If you want to use meat in this recipe just substitute half of the amount of rice/bulgar wheat for raw, minced meat of your choice, and brown it with the onions and peppers at the beginning of the method.
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli, or use a small amount of finely chopped fresh to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Large bunch of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Large bunch of chopped fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 cups/250 grams cooked brown rice or bulgar wheat
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup currants....its a good idea to soak them for in a little water for an hour so that they plump out a little.
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons, separate 2 tablespoons juice for use at the end
  • 1 loose leaved cabbage or a 1 pound jar of vine leaves well rinsed

For the sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 2 -3 tablespoons water
  • A pinch of salt, a pinch or sugar, and a grinding of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds (optional, but delicious)

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Dolmades Recipe Method

Ready to Wrap the DolmadesWrap the DolmadesWrapped Dolmades

How to wrap your Dolmades
  1. If you are using cabbage, carefully remove 14 whole leaves and steam them for 3-4 minutes, then put to one side. This makes them easy to roll into the dolmade shape.(4 of these leaves are for lining the cooking pan later.)
  2. Into a largeish fry pan pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place over high heat.
  3. Add the peppers and the onion and brown them stirring the mixture well for about 4 minutes, so that they are evenly cooked. If they start to over brown turn the heat down to medium.
  4. Reduce the heat further and stir in the garlic. Continue cooking slowly for a further 5 minutes, stirring all of the time.
  5. Add the salt, sugar, chilli and cinnamon and continue cooking and stirring for 2 - 3 minutes.
  6. Add the parsley, coriander, rice or bulgar wheat, pine nuts, drained currants, lemon zest and juice.
  7. Stir well and remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  8. Place 4 of the cabbage leaves, or enough vine leaves, to cover the bottom of a large pan. This prevents the dolmades from sticking.
  9. Take a cabbage leaf, cut out the thick fibrous bit that runs up the centre, and place 2 good tablespoons of the mixture in the middle.
  10. Fold up the bottom of the leaf and tuck it under the mixture (see photo) fold in both sides on top of the mixture and roll into a neat, tight parcel and place in the pan with the join downwards. (They can be stacked up in 2 layers)
  11. Repeat this with the rest of the leaves.
  12. If you are using vine leaves, remove the stem and follow the same method but only use 1 tablespoon of the mixture.
  13. Drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining lemon juice and pour water into the pan until it just covers the leaves.
  14. Place on top a lid or a plate that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the pan so that it keeps the dolmades submerged. For the cabbage dolmades allow to simmer for 20 minutes...the vine leaves need approximately 45 mins to soften.
  15. Meanwhile make the sauce by heating the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  16. Add the onion and cook until soft, reduce the heat and add the garlic stirring until softened, then add the tomato.
  17. Cook over a low heat until the tomato has formed a paste with the other ingredients.
  18. Add the tomato puree, salt, pepper, sugar and the water. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add a little more water if you think it is necessary.
  19. Remove from the heat.
  20. When the dolmades are ready arrange on a serving dish and spoon the sauce over them.
  21. Sprinkle with the toasted cumin seeds and garnish with mint. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

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