Some days ago my son went to Sparta to visit his grandmother and our relatives who live there and when he came back, as usually,they sent us some fresh eggs from their chickens, pasto (which is cured pork), as well as sausages and finally some fresh vine leaves from their garden.
If you like dolmas (meaning stuffed or filled in Turkish) plural dolmades, now is the best time of the year to buy and store fresh vine leaves as they are still tender and not too big. The vine leaves were enough to make only two batches. I want to test try a new cooking utensil from Tupperware, the ULTRA PLUS, which is like an oven casserole with a lid and test some recipes in it. I decided to prepare the vegan recipe for dolmades or dolmadakia gialantzi, which means fake dolmades, as they are made with no meat and I added some potatoes as well. All Greek words ending in -aki- means little one, so dolmas becomes dolmadaki, plural dolmadakia.
I placed a layer of potato wedges and then put the dolmades on top. The final result was not only excellent but also very healthy as the dolmades were practically steamed and the potatoes were nice and soft and aromatic from the dolmades.
The best part was that I didn’t have to be in the kitchen watching over the meal. I placed the lid on top and left it in the oven for one an a half hours and I was free to do whatever I wanted without having to worry about the food.
However, if you do not want to bake this vegan dish you can also cook it in on your stove top and will be ready in less time. However, you will have to add more water.
Dolmadakia Gialantzi with Potatoes
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hour in the oven
Servings: 5 – 6
- 60 – 70 vine leaves
- 2 cups of Carolina or Arborio rice
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 – 5 spring onions
- 1 cup of finely chopped parsley
- ½ cup of finely chopped dill (optional)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of dried mint or 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 1 cup myronia and kafkalithres, finely chopped (optional)
- ¾ cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 – 4 grated ripe tomatoes
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2-3 potatoes cut in wedges
- Oregano (for the potatoes) (optional)
- 1 cup of water
- Wash the vine leaves and blanche them for five minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain.
- Wash the rice and place it in a big bowl.
- Add the onions, parsley, mint, dill (and other herbs), salt and pepper, the lemon juice, 1/2 of grated tomatoes and 1/2 of the oil and mix well. For instructions on how to wrap the dolmades you can see my step by step instructions given here.
- Peel, wash and cut the potato wedges (depending on size of potato in quarters or 8 pieces), drain and add salt, pepper and oregano. Make a layer of potatoes and then start putting the dolmades on top.
- Add the water and the remaining olive oil and tomatoes. You do not have to put a plate on top as we usually do when cooking on the stove top.
- Place the lid on top and cook at 200ο C for one and a half hour.
I am submitting this recipe to Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes for her event Grow your Own.
The recipe is included in my cookbook “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!”.
Other relevant recipes:
Kolokythia Gemista (Stuffed Courgettes)