Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves)
I remember being younger and watching my grandmother make the most amazingly tasty Greek food. Like a moth to a flame, people would constantly be at her house eating and drinking because in our culture food brings everyone together.
On Saturday we met at my aunties house for a much needed Greek cooking lesson. Dolmades or Stuffed Vine Leaves were on the menu. There is something so comforting about a rainy day spent cooking indoors with the women in your life. Though I love experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with new things to eat, it's important to me to learn the dishes that I grew up eating. Dolmades come in all shapes and sizes, they can be done with cabbage or spinach and even have vegetarian options. Today I am sharing our families recipe, hope you like it!
Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) (Cypriot Koupepia)
1 small white onion
1 small spanish onion diced
1 can crushed tomatoes
3/4 tsp cinnamon
500g pork mince
500g lamb or beef mince
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups fresh mint finely chopped
1 heaped tblspn dried mint
1 jar of vine leaves in brine (available at all good delicatessens)
1 cup medium grain rice
Juice of 1 lemon
Sauté onions in 2 tbspn olive oil, add can crushed tomatoes and allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl add all other ingredients and mix by hand.
Rinse the brine off your vine leaves with warm water.
Flatten out a vine leaf and add a tablespoon of the minced mixture to the bottom of the leaf folding the sides in and tightly roll to resemble a small sausage.
Place spare vine leaves and excess mint at the bottom of a saucepan and pack your Dolmades snugly on top.
Place a small dish over the top of Dolmades to weigh them down.
Add enough water to cover and the lemon juice.
Cook for approx. 30 to 40 minutes on a medium heat.
Makes approximately 25
Kali Orexi! (Enjoy!)