I’d always avoided even contemplating making dolmades for some reason. I had assumed they’d be impossibly difficult and fiddly to make. I was wrong. They were easy as can be and the taste was out of this world. I shall be making them on a regular basis. Fantastic!

RECIPE: (makes 20+ depending on vine leaf size)

24-28 vine leaves in brine
1 cup rice
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1/3 cup olive oil
30g pine nuts (dry roasted)
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
500ml vegetable stock

Soak the vine leaves in cold water for 15 minutes then rinse and pat dry. Cut off the stems.
Soak the rice in boiled water for 15 minutes. Drain well.
In a large bowl mix the rice with the currants, parsley, mint, dill, pine nuts. Season with salt & pepper.

Line the bottom of a large casserole pan with 4 vine leaves, drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil.

Lay one vine leaf on a board with the stem facing down. Put about 1 tablespoon of the rice mix in the bottom middle of the leaf. Fold the leaf up from the bottom then fold in each side and roll up tightly to form a little cigar. Place into the pan. Continue making more of the cigars and pack them tightly together in the pan in one layer until you run out of either space or rice mix. Cover the dolmades with the vegetable stock then place a plate directly on top of them to stop them moving about when cooking. Bring the stock to a simmer over a medium heat, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat. All of the liquid should be gone.Serve warm or cold. They’re best cold in my opinion.

Serve as a little side dish or meze, sprinkled with mint together with mini lemon wedges.

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