The video recipe below features Maria preparing the most delicious dolmadakia. Beg or barter for your neighbours or friends’ vine leaves and get cooking!
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need:
For the dolmadakia
60 medium-sized grape vine leaves
2 zucchini, coarsely grated
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
2 purple onions, coarsely grated
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
8 cos lettuce leaves, finely sliced
1 cup medium grain rice
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
Water for blanching grape vine leaves
1 lemon, cut into 2 halves
Boiled water for cooking dolmadakia
Make the filling
Combine the zucchini, spring onions, purple onions, parsley, dill, mint, lettuce leaves, rice and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Blanch the grape vine leaves
Boil water in a large pot, wide enough for the grape vine leaves to remain flat in the pot. Place 5 – 10 grape vine leaves in the boiling water for 10 – 15 seconds. Turn the bundle of leaves over and leave for another 10 – 15 seconds or until the leaves just soften and their colour just changes. It’s important not to over-boil the leaves as they will begin to fall apart. Use a slotted spoon to remove the leaves from the boiling water and place them in a colander to cool and drain. Repeat until all of the leaves have been blanched and drained.
Make the dolmadakia
Place a grape vine leaf on the palm of your hand with the veins of the leaf facing upwards. Place a heaped teaspoonful of the rice mixture close to the top of the leaf, between the two upper lobes. Fold down one of the upper lobes of the leaf, then the other. Then fold one side of the leaf inwards and then the other. Finally, roll the remaining leaf from top to bottom. Place the dolmadaki in a pot, with the seam facing downwards. Repeat until all of the leaves have been filled.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon on top of the dolmadakia. Place a small plate, facing downwards, on top of the dolmadakia. Pour boiled water into the pot, until it just covers the dolmadakia. Cook the dolmadakia
Place the pot on a medium flame and bring the water to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice has cooked through and the leaves have softened a little more.
Serve the dolmadakia
Dolmadakia can be served warm or cold, on their own or with thick, Greek-style yoghurt.
Recipe makes 60 pieces.
Here’s the video tutorial: