Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dolmas! ...and a Mediterranean Feast

Dolmas with hummus, za'atar wedges, & salad
I love dolmas! Stuffed grape leaves filled with rice, fresh herbs, and yummy bits. These can have meat in them or be vegetarian, but I don't eat them that often. They tend to be pricey at the store and are typically packed in oil. Even before my low/no oil days, the greasiness of them turned me off. 

So you can imagine how excited I was to learn how easy they are to make! I love this recipe from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. It's so light and flavorful and fresh. It also contains chickpeas, so you have a nice little bit of protein there.

So colorful!
I did decide to use oil in mine, because I thought the mixture would be too dry without. However, I only used 1 tablespoon instead of the 3 that the recipe calls for. That worked great for my tastes. 

I bought a bottle of grape leaves at a store by my house called Fiesta...they have a great international section there (although they also have some questionable looking produce and fish. And once I bought some cupcakes there that had mildew on them, but that's a whole other story).

Unfortunately, grape leaves typically come in gigantic bottles, so that means you either need to eat these on a regular basis (probably not a hard thing to do) or share with a friend. 

This tastes great on top of salad as well
The ingredients are pretty quick to throw together. Once you've got everything in the bowl, just mix it up, and then you're ready to roll your leaves!

Ready to Roll!
The rolling up part can be kind of tricky, and I can't really say that I'm all that great at it. I ended up just tucking the loose ends under so my dolmas looked pretty, and then I basically just shoved them in my mouth. The lemony-ness of the dolmas works so well with the spicy dill, and the chickpeas add a nice texture. Better yet, I don't feel like I have to scrub my hands with dish soap to get the oil off them afterwards.

Tuck and roll...
As I was making the dolmas, I decided I'd go ahead and up the Mediterranean ante by making some Engine 2 Hummus. I sprinkled a little paprika on top, just to make it pretty. 

I scooped up the hummus with homemade za'atar wedges, also from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. I took a sprouted grain tortilla, sprayed a tiny bit of olive on it, then sprinkled za'atar—a blend of sumac, thyme, and other spices—on top. Then I baked at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, flipped, then baked for another 5. The tortilla comes out nice and crispy and flavorful. Just break apart the pieces and scoop. If you're wondering where to buy za'atar, I've been able to find it pretty easily in the bulk spices at my grocery store. If you have an ethnic food store, that's a good place to look for it as well. And there's always ordering online.

Sprouted tortilla with za'atar
This food combo has made for a great lunch/dinner and is also a really easy snacky item. The dolmas store well in a sealed container, and I just grab a couple when I'm feeling hungry. If you are too lazy to do the whole wrap-up-in-grape-leaves thing, you can always just throw together the mixture and serve over salad. You can also just keep the mixture in a tupperware and wrap up a dolma or two (or three) at your leisure.

1 comment:

  1. OKAY. Love this because every once in a while I have something deep in my belly crying out for Greek food satisfaction. I've got to get it and try it.