Saturday, 2 June 2018

Dolmadakia (Dolmades) with Spinach Leaves

I currently have a glut of perpetual spinach growing in  raised beds, in my kitchen garden.The older leaves are much larger and a bit tougher than normal spinach and I was wondering how to use them up in something other than spinach and feta pie. I suddenly had a brainwave to try another Greek dish, dolmadakia; in case you don't know, dolmadakia (little dolmades) are traditionally made with vine leaves.
  • ½ cup risotto rice
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1½ cup veg. stock 
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree, optional
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp each of chopped fresh parsley and mint (plus a little dill and oregano if you have them)...the more, the better!
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Approx .15-20 large spinach leaves (or vine leaves)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan and gently saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened.
Add the tomato puree, if using and cook for a further minute or so.

Stir in 1 cup of the stock and bring up to a simmer.
Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente.
Stir the in herbs and sugar and season to taste.

Remove from the heat.

Bring a pan of water to the boil.
Holding the stem of the spinach leaf, dip each one into the pan (carefully!) for a couple of seconds to blanch. Drain on kitchen paper.

Cut the tough stem off the leaf with a sharp knife.
Place a heaped tsp of the rice mixture onto the stem end of the leaf and roll up, like a mini burrito. Place into a well greased dish.

Pour the remaining stock over and drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C Fan, 200C, Gas 6, 400F.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve as a starter a meze dish.

Find out how to grow perpetual spinach.
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