HOT STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES
The Essential Diabetes Cookbook
by Antony Thompson
I know these won't be everyone's cup of tea, but there is a certain satisfaction in making your own dolmades, especially when you can make them to your own personal specification.
· 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
· 1/2 lb lean ground beef or lamb
· 1 (8-oz) can chopped tomatoes
· 1 small onion, finely chopped
· 1 teaspoon dried oregano
· 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
· 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
· salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1 tablespoon tomato paste
· 12 preserved grape leaves, drained
· 2 tomatoes, sliced
· 2 garlic cloves, sliced
· juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix together the rice, meat, chopped tomatoes, onion, oregano, parsley, celery, and some salt and pepper. Fold in the tomato paste.
2. Place a grape leaf on a plate, vein-side up. Put a heaping teaspoon of the rice and meat filling in the center, near the stem edge. Fold the stem end up over the filling, then fold both sides toward the middle and roll up like a small cigar. Don't roll too tightly, as the rice will need room to expand. Repeat the process with the remaining filling and leaves.
3. Line the bottom of an ovenproof dish with a layer of tomato slices (or leftover grape leaves) to prevent the stuffed leaves from sticking to the pan and burning. Place the stuffed leaves in layers over the top, pushing slices of garlic here and there between them. Sprinkle with lemon juice and pour over about 1 cup water. Cover with greased aluminum foil.
4. Cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until tender, adding extra water if necessary. Serve as part of a meze selection.
TIP: Grape leaves are usually sold vacuum-packed, but if you can't find them, try cabbage leaves or spring greens.
Amount per portion: Energy 264 cals, Protein 15.1g, Fat 10.3g, Saturated fat 4.3g, Carbohydrate 29.7g, Total sugars 4.5g, Fiber 2.2g, Salt 1.36g, Sodium 536mg