Ece's & Besime's Dolma Recipe
Ece & Besime's Dolma
5 Green Peppers - Small
5 Zucchini - Small
5 Eggplant - Small
2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Water
1 Bunch Parsley
3 Yellow Onions
300 g Lamb Meat
1 tsp. Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
Handful Mint (Vegetarian)
3-4 Cups Water or Broth
Ece & Besime's Hearty, Healthy Vegetables stuffed with savory rice, meat (optional), and seasoning.
Understanding the Recipe:
We will be stuffing 5 different kinds of vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, peppers, collard greens, and onions. First we will prepare each vegetable by either par-boiling (collard greens), scooping out the inside (zucchini, peppers, and eggplant). We will then prepare the stuffing, stuff each vegetable and then cook them all together....with LOVE!!
Try out the Dolma Recipe Below!!
Ece & Besime
Ece & Besime's Dolma
Preparing the Zucchini, Eggplant, and Peppers:
Wash the zucchini, eggplant, and peppers. Ece and her mother like to scrape the skins of the zucchini and remove the peel from half of the eggplant. Remove the stems of the eggplants and zucchini. Using a sharp spoon or pitting tool, scoop out the interiors of the zucchini and eggplant and remove the tops and seeds from the green peppers. You can use the eggplant and zucchini insides later in an omelet or fritatta. Place the hollowed vegetables to the side while you prepare the collard greens and the filling.
Preparing the Collard Greens: In a small pot add 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt and allow to reach a boil. While the water is reaching a boil, remove the bottom stems of the collar greens, so that you only remain with the intact leaf. When the water boils, par-boil the collard greens until they are dark-green and tender, but NOT mushy (approx 2 min). Strain the collard greens, run them under cold water, and place them to the side.
Wash the bunch of parsley in 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar and strain. De-leaf the sprigs of parsley and chop up the leaves.
Preparing the Stuffing:
Made with Love Tip: In the following step, you will be using rice. Ece reminds us to always wash the rice free of impurities before cooking.
In a large mixing bowl, combine and mix (using your hands) the following ingredients: 300 g ground lamb meat, 2 diced yellow onions, 1 cup rice, 1 Tbsp Pepper, 1 Tbsp Salt, 2.5 Tbsp tomato paste. Once mixed, add the chopped leaves of parsley, and the juice from half a lemon.
*Vegetarians: the same process, except sans meat and instead of using parsley, add a handful of chopped mint leaves to the rice.
Using a sharp, small knife, remove the inner stem from the collard greens. Place a thumb size portion of the meat and rice filling in the bottom of the leaf (about 1 cm up), and thinking of a cigar or burrito, wrap the bottom part over the meat and roll the filling upwards, folding the edges into the center of the leaf, snuggly cocooning the meat inside the blanket of collar green. Made with Love Tip: The tighter the better, don’t squeeze all of the juice out of the
Using a sharp, small knife, remove the inner stem from the collard greens. Place a thumb size portion of the meat and rice filling in the bottom of the leaf (about 1 cm up), and thinking of a cigar or burrito, wrap the bottom part over the meat and roll the filling upwards, folding the edges into the center of the leaf, snuggly cocooning the meat inside the blanket of collar green. Made with Love Tip: The tighter the better, but be careful not to squeeze all of the juice out of the dolma.
Cut a slit in one onion lengthwise and slowly peel apart the layers, inside of each layer, a flap of glistening, translucent skin hugs the inside of every layer of onion. In the words of Ece and her mother, this piece of skin is the cause of indigestion and should be removed to avoid acid reflux. Stuff a thumb size bit of the stuffinging into the edge of one of the layers of onion and roll the filling into the onion. Repeat for the other layers.
Zucchini, Eggplant, and Green Peppers:
Fill the zucchini, eggplant, and green peppers with the filling and using your thumb, lightly push the filling down so that it surfaces 2 cm below the top of the vegetables.
Made with Love Tip: You don’t fill the vegetables up all the way with stuffing, or they will overflow, this is because the rice expands while it is being cooked; you thereby need to give the filling room to grow.
Cooking the Dolmas:
Place the stuffed collard greens on the bottom of a medium sized pot, add the rest of the vegetables making sure the vegetables are tight and snug next to eachother. This will ensure that the rice does not burst through the vegetables giving you mush-mush (which also tastes great but doesn’t look so presentable). Cover the vegetables with 1/3 cup of olive oil and cover the vegetables with water (or even better broth), salt and pepper to taste. Remember not to be shy about tasting the food while cooking. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, until the vegetables are easily pierced with a fork and the rice is no longer crunchy (approx. 35 min). This step calls for a well-deserved taste/texture test!
Serve your Dolma's to you family and friends and don't forget to eat with LOVE!!!