DOLMADES: Baked Stuffed Vine Leaves
Food from Many Greek Kitchens
by Tessa Kiros
This Wonderful recipe comes from my friend Artemis's mother, Christina. It is a more unusual vegetarian version than you may find readily available in Greece and completely delicious.
It is very easy to double the quantity, and they keep well for the next day, so it's worth making a good amount, Christina makes at least 70 at a time--it can be fun to sit at a table and work, maybe with someone helping you.
Makes 35 to 40
• 35-40 good vine leaves, plus a few torn ones
• 1 red onion, peeled
• 9 ounces wild or cremini mushrooms
• 1 carrot,peeled
• 7 ounces zucchini
• 3 large tomatoes
• about a cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup medium-grain rice
• 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
• 1/2 tablespoon dried mint
• juice of 1 lemon
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons shredded Kefalotiri cheese or Parmesan
If using bought leaves, put them in a bowl of water to soak for a few minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, then stack in piles for later. Using the large holes of a grater, grate the onion, mushrooms, carrot, zucchini and 2 tomatoes, keeping them separate for now. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wide pot and saute the onion until golden. Add the mushrooms, carrot, zucchini and rice and saute for 10 minutes or so. Add the grated tomato, parsley, mint and lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the kefalotiri.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spread a few whole vine leaves at a time on your work surface, shiny side down. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of filling onto each leaf and roll up neatly and snugly, tucking in the sides after the first roll and continuing to roll. Line them up in a large baking dish. They should just fit but if not, stack the last few on top. Grate the remaining tomato (so that the skin stays behind in your hand) and scatter it over the top of the dolmades. Add 1 cup of water and drizzle over the remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rock the dish 2 or 3 times to distribute the liquid. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour, uncover and bake for 10 minutes or so.