- 75ml Olive Oil
- 300g Beefminced
- 1 bunch Spring Onionfinely chopped
- 3 Tomatofresh, ripe, finely chopped
- 60ml Parsleyfinely chopped
- 5ml Dried Mint
- 2,5ml Cinnamonground
- 100g Riceuncooked
- 450g Vine Leavesin brine or fresh
- 45ml Butter
- 1 Lemon Juice
- Black Pepper
These delicious Mediterranean starters are usually served with a variety of mezze dishes.
Heat 45ml olive oil in a saucepan and saute the mince until cooked and starting to brown. Add the spring onions and stir-fry until soft. Flavour with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes, parsley, dried mint, cinnamon and rice and stir through. Remove from the stove and allow to cool.
Prepare the vine leaves. Drain the leaves and blanch in boiling water for a minute to eliminate the brine. Place five or six leaves at the bottom of a saucepan to prevent the dolmades from sticking to the pan while cooking. Take a vine leaf (shiny side down) and place a teaspoon of filling in the centre. Close the parcel, being careful not to stretch the leaf in case it tears.
Place the dolmades on top of the vine leaves in the saucepan- you can stack them in two or three layers. Dot with butter and add 750ml water, along with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season with a little salt.
Place a dinner plate on top of the dolmades, making sure that it fits perfectly- or use the lid of a smaller saucepan. This ensures that the parcels retain their shapes during cooking. Bring the liquid to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until the dolmades are soft and juicy and the rice is completely cooked. Serve at room temperature with tzatziki.( a sauce of Greek origin, made from yogurt, garlic, and cucumbers.) If you like, you can drizzle a little extra olive oil over the dolmades and add lemon wedges.