I made these as a little appetiser for Easter lunch yesterday. They are vine leaves stuffed with a lamb, rice and herb mixture. This is a tasty finger food that happens to be pretty healthy, too. My sister-in-law's mama requested the recipe, so here it is!


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium brown onions (300g) chopped finely
150g lean lamb mince
3/4 cup white long-grain rice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup water
500g preserved vine leaves
1 cup water, extra
1 tablespoon lemon juice, extra
3/4 cup yoghurt

1. Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until softened. Add mince, cook until browned. Stir in rice and pine nuts. Add herbs, juice and the water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is partially cooked. Cool.

2. Rinse vine leaves in cool water. Drops leaves into a large saucepan of boiling water, in batches, for a few seconds. Transfer to colander, rinse under cold water, drain well.

3. Place a vine leaf, smooth-side down on bench, trim large stem. Place a heaped teaspoon of rice mixture in centre. Fold stem and end sides over filling; roll up firmly. Line medium heavy-based saucepan with a few vine leaves, place rolls, close together, seam side down on leaves.

4. Pour the extra water over top of rolls; cover rolls with any remaining vine leaves. Place a plate on top of the leaves to keep rolls under the water during cooking. Cover pan tightly, bring to the boil; reduce heat, simmer over very low heat 1.5 hours. Remove from heat; stand, covered, about 2 hours or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

5. Serve with combined extra juice and yoghurt.

This recipe comes from a Women's Weekly cookbook, but here are my notes:

  • You can buy vine leaves from specialty fruit & veg grocers
  • I added a pinch of salt to the rice mixture
  • I used 2-3 teaspoons of mixture per dolmade instead of the recommended 1 teaspoon

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