100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegan

Day 37 – Dolmades

Day37

Since I started off last night with my Day 36 Feta & Pesto Stuffed Peppadew Peppers post, I decided to keep up the theme for the weekend with recipes for small plate tapas type dishes. Dolmades seemed like the perfect fit!!

Dolmades or Dolma are a stuffed vegetable dish common in the Balkans and surrounding regions of the Middle East. The word Dolma comes from the Turkish for “stuffed thing”. Generally, grape or cabbage leaves are wrapped around a rice based filling, that can be meat or vegetarian, and includes onion, herbs like dill, mint or parsley and spices. While meat Dolma are served warm, vegetarian ones are often served cold or at room temperature. There are numerous variations of ingredients and fillings across the many countries that make a Dolma-like dish.

I first made and had Dolmades as a pre-teen at summer camp. Two kids from every cabin had to help out the kitchen staff with food prep every day. Probably not hard to believe that this was one of my favorite tasks on the chore rotation. I remember one day when we came in, there was a big industrial sized bowl of rice filling and all these grape leaves. I had never thought about eating an actual leaf before (not including lettuce) and thought this was a bit strange. I followed instructions on how to fill and roll the grape leaves into Dolmades, and was pleasantly surprised when it came to dinner time that this strange dish was actually quite yummy!! Although I have eaten Dolmades many times since then, this was probably the last time I tried making them myself until today.

Dolmades

adpated from: Kitchen Classics – Gourmet Vegetarian

MAKES: approx. 40 Dolma

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 spring onion (green onions)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • 15 grams or 1/2 ounce fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted.
  • 235 grams or 8 1/2 ounce packaged pickled grape leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra

Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Chop the spring onions and add them to the pan, cooking them over a medium heat for only one minute.  Stir in the rice, mint, dill, half the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Dry roast the pine nuts until they are toasted and golden brown.

Remove the lid, and fork through the currants, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and toasted pine nuts. Cover with a paper towel, then the lid, and leave to one side to cool.

Gently rinse and separate the grape leave, then pat dry with a paper towel and trim any thick stems off with scissors.

Line the base of a 20cm or 8 inch pot with any torn of misshapen leaves. Choose the larger leaves for filling and sue the smaller ones to patch any gaps.

Place a leaf shiny side down, vein side up,  on a cutting board. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of the leaf.  Bring in the sides, and roll up tightly from the stem end of the leaf. Place seam side down in the base of the leaf lined pot arranging them close together in a single layer.

Pour int he rest of the lemon juice, the extra oil , and enough water to just cover the top of the dolmades. Cover them with an inverted plate and some sort of weight to firmly compress the dolmades and keep them in place while cooking (I had trouble finding something for this, but a tin of canned vegetables might work). Cover with the lid, and bring the liquid up to a boil reducing it to a simmer for 45 minutes. Let them cool and serve at room temperature.

These would make a great side dish to go with my Lebanese Red Lentil Soup.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Mains, Recipes

Day 35 – Vegetable & Egg Quiche with a Rye Crust

Day35

I was having a few friends over for dinner tonight and wanted to make something a bit special.

I had this recipe for a vegetable pie, from Krisser’s Cookie Crumble blog, in my collection,  and it looked so beautiful with the spiral of vegetables that I really wanted to try it. I had given the recipe a quick scan, but did not realize until after I started making it; that the recipe was translated very badly (I think the original is in Danish). Oh well . . . I had already started and told my guests this was what we were having for dinner, so had to keep with it and do the best I could.

The first obstacle I ran into was that the translated recipe did not call for enough liquid to bind the flours for the crust together. So I had to do a bit of experimentation slowly adding more water and oil until a got a crust that would hold. Even then, it kind of fell apart while transferring the pie crust to my tin and I had to piece it back together.

The thing that makes his recipe spectacular is the way the vegetables are sliced and used standing on edge to create a pattern. The original recipe had all the slices beautifully curved into circles. As you can see from the image above, my vegetable slices did not quite want to conform to a circular shape, and ended up more triangular. I think the vegetables in the original recipe must be sliced using a mandolin vegetable slicer, but unfortunately this is a kitchen gadget I do not own and I could not cut my vegetables thin enough by hand to easily hold the circular shape. If you have a mandolin, I would definitely suggest using it.

I also substituted the the milk the recipe called for with left over mascarpone cheese from my Day 33 post, Gnocchi with Tomato Mascarpone Sauce,  and thought the egg could use a little favor of its own and added my favorite go to herb, dill. I never did meet a recipe I didn’t want to tweak. Even with the problems and the changes, this made a delicious main for my meal tonight, was enjoyed by all, and I will definitely have to refine the recipe and give it another try. The recipe posted below includes the changes and tweaks I made to the original recipe.

Vegetable & Egg Quiche with a Rye Crust

adapted from: Krissers Cookie Crumble

INGREDIENTS

for the crust

  • 90 grams or 3 ounces of wheat flour
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces of rye flour
  • 6-8 tablespoons of cold water
  • 4 -6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

for the filling

  • 3 carrots
  • 4 small zucchini
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk or mascarpone cheese
  • 2-3 teaspoons dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F.

Grease a 20 cm pie dish or quiche pan.

Mix all five ingredients for the crust together until the dough becomes “crumbs”. Turn “crumbs” out on the table and knead them into a complete and cohesive dough. If it does not seem like the dough is sticking together slowly add more water and oil until it has the proper consistency.  Roll out the dough on the table to fit your pie dish and transfer the dough to your pie pan. If it falls apart like mine did, just piece it back together inside the pan; it gives your crust a more “rustic” look.. Now use your fingers to adjust the dough completely, so that it reaches all the way up over the edge of the pan.

To make the filling, peel the carrots and cut them and the zucchini into thin strips about the same height as your pie pan.  It might be easier to use a mandolin vegetable slicer for this. When the vegetables are ready Beat the eggs together with the milk or mascarpone. Add the dill and salt and pepper as needed.

To make the pie filling, place the strips of vegetable, end to end, all the way around the pie pan edge. Alternate between squash and carrot until you reach the middle, where a vegetable
strip rolled together creates the center. When all the vegetables are placed, slowly pour egg mixture gently between the vegetable layers. Try to make sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed, and that it comes down between the slices of vegetable.

Bake the pie for approx. 30 minutes.

Serve the pie warm, along with a good salad. My Antipasto Salad recipe made an excellent accompaniment for this pie.

ENJOY!!

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan

Simple Raw Veggie Salad with Dill Dressing

dill dressing

This side salad is perfect for when you need something fresh and lite to go with you main meal.  I made it to go with the Creamy Leek and Brussels Sprout Soup in my Day 4 post, and the the crisp sweetness of the raw vegetables and fragrant dill nicely balance the creaminess and subtle spice of the soup.

I used cucumber, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, and avocado, but realistically that was just because those were the vegetables in my fridge. You can use any combination of vegetables you feel will go well together. Besides anything topped with this Dill Dressing will taste brilliant.

This does not take long at all to throw together, and can vary infinitely. You can also substitute other fresh herbs for the dill to make different types of dressing.

Simple Raw Salad with Dill Dressing

INGREDIENTS

for the salad

  • any assortment of raw vegetables (I used cucumber, red capsicum, yellow capsicum, and avocado)

for the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (if you do not have white wine vinegar, you can use 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or other fresh herb (you can also use dried herbs but it does not taste quite as nice)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot (you can substitute minced garlic if you do not happen to have a shallot around)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Add dill, mustard and shallot and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until dressing is smooth and emulsified.  You can also use an immersion/stick blender to emulsify the dressing, which will take less time. Place all ingredients into the tall plastic cup that comes with most immersion/stick blenders, and whizz until dressing takes on a creamy white look. Pour dressing over salad and toss until all ingredients are evenly coated.

Additional Notes

Salad will keep, dressed and refrigerated, for up to 6 hours. For longer storage, keep chopped and assembled salad ingredients covered in the refrigerator up to 1 day ahead and toss with dressing just before serving.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

Green Beans with Leek & Toasted Almonds

green beans

Hello Herbivores  . . . some people have been asking for the green beans recipe that was served along with the lentil sheppard’s pie in my Day 1 post. So, ask and you shall receive!!

This recipe originally came from Heidi Swanson of the 101 Cookbooks food blog. Her recipes are always simple, with minimal ingredients and packed full of flavor. I have to admit I have tweaked this recipe slightly myself (well then again, I tweak most recipes . . . that is half the fun of cooking).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large leeks, well washed, root end and tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped into 15mm segments
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, well chopped
  • 500g green beans, tops and tails trimmed and cut into 30mm segments
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • slivered almonds

Toast the slivered Almonds in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat until they are nicely browned. Make sure you keep an eye on these as they can very quickly go from brown to burnt.

In a large thick-bottomed skillet of medium-high heat add a generous splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and the leeks. Stir until the leeks are coated and glossy. Cook, stirring regularly until a lot of the leeks are golden and crispy. All in all it takes me roughly 7 – 10 minutes to brown the leeks.

At this point stir in the dill and almonds, and then stir in the green beans. Cook for a couple more minutes – just until the the beans brighten up and lose that raw
bite. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and serve immediately.

ENJOY!!

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