Dolmades or Koupepia (as we call them in Cyprus) are made from grape leaves (also known as vine leaves) and are stuffed with rice, ground pork or beef, fresh herbs and seasonings.
I’ve been revisiting all the Greek traditional recipes over the past year and have been substituting pork or beef minced meat with turkey or chicken mince, to avoid eating red meat. I’ve adjusted the seasing in each recipe to better match with poultry, adding chicken seasoning, thyme, oregano or tarragon, paired with other seasoning and fresh herbs, depending on each recipe.
Below are some of the recipes I’ve revisited: Koupepia, with tomato sauce and Dolmades with a lighter avgolemono sauce. I have been making Burgers with Ground Turkey and chicken, served with a salad or with ciabatta bread and red pepper pesto, instread of ketchup. I’ve made meatballs baked in the oven served with healthy mashed potatoes with olive oil and marinara sauce or just with a salad. I’ve made moussakas with Turkey and instead of frying the vegetables I have roasted them in the oven to make them much healthier and making a much lighter bechamel sauce and during the winter I have made giouvarlakia with ground chicken. I’ve even made a shepherd’s pie with ground turkey using olive oil instead of butter in the mashed potatoes and with low fat milk. All these dishes were equally delicious as the original ones but much more healthier.
This is my new remake of Dolmades which are vegetarian. Unlike Gialantzi Dolmades, which are vegan and only with rice, herbs and spices, I made these Dolmades with mushrooms, leeks and rosemary and added some low fat feta inside as well.
They can be served as part of a meze platter or salad plate, eaten as finger food or as a main dish.
Actually, I did make them to be our main dish today but couldn’t resist the lovely smell, so I prepared a mezes with some marinated anchovies and a yoghurt-mint garlicky sauce and was really pleased to hear lots of mmmms not to mention that they were asking for seconds and practiacally licked the plate.
This is my second contribution to the event In memory of Rosie and if you would like to participate, you still have lots of time until the 28th June to send your contrinutions and honour a fellow blogger.
Vegetarian Dolmades with Mushrooms and Leeks, Recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: about 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 5 – 6 (as a main dish)
For the filling:
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, finely sliced
- 5 big button mushrooms, cut into slices
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ cup white wine
- 100 grams low fat feta
- ½ cup low fat milk
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
Directions for filling:
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté garlic, rosemary and leeks. Add salt and pepper and sauté until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.
Meantime in a food processor add feta, milk and mustard seeds and mix.
Add the flour to the mushrooms and mix to make a roux. Add the wine and mix continuously for 1 minute until the alcohol evaporates.
Add the feta mixture and mix. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Mix together with above mixture:
- 1/3 cup Carolina or other shortgrain rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons dried mint
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- Extra salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make Vegetarian Dolmades
- 60 vine leaves
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- If you are using fresh vine leaves wash and then put them in a sauce pan with plenty of water and boil for 5 minutes. If you are using frozen ones, follow the same procedure without defrosting them and then remove cling film. Cool them in cold water and strain them. For brined vine leaves, follow the instructions on package.
- Place one of the leaves, vein side facing up, on a plate and put a spoonful of the mixture near the stem. Make sure to remove the stem.
- Neatly fold left edge over the filling and then right edge and then roll all the way. Wrap up into a cigar shape (don’t fold too tight as the rice will expand during cooking). Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
- Place in the pan starting from the edge to the centre. Second and third layers may be placed on top then cover with the plate (which must be exactly the size of the pan. This is done so that when the dolmades are boiling they will not unwrap).
- Add lemon juice and water on top of the plate and when reaching boiling point lower heat, cover with the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
They can be eaten either hot or cold, served with a salad and a yoghurt sauce or tzatziki.
Other relevant recipes:
Kolokythia Gemista (Stuffed Courgettes)
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!