First of all let me apologize with any of my followers with Greek or Turkish roots for having distorted the original Dolmades recipe. In my defense one should note that Dolma is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak, ‘to be stuffed’, and means ‘stuffed thing’, therefore, by and large, I am not really distorting tradition here.
Again, this has nothing to do with the grape-leaf stuffed delicacy you eat in Greece (and Turkey) is my version of the dish in response to a request of my friend Heda who is vegetarian and has asked that I cook more veg. stuff, here it goes:
- 6 large leaves Red Cabbage
- 6 large leaves White Cabbage
- 1 small potato (cubed)
- 1 Tbsp chili flakes (yes, this is going to be hot)
- 1 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 carrot (sliced)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 pkt (125g) Couscous Parfumées Epices du Monde
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
In a large pan bring 1 liter water to boil, add salt and toss the cabbage leaves one at the time. Cook each leaf for 5 minutes max. Have a bowlful of ice-cold water by hand, toss the leaves from the boiling water to the iced water (to retain the colour as well as to stop from cooking).
In a skillet, heat the oil, chop the green onion, cube the potato and slice the carrot, transfer to the hot oil and saute for a while. If you see the vegetables are getting brown, add a ladle-full of water from the pan. Add the couscous and enough boiling water as indicated on the packet. Cover and set aside.
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Open the (now cold) leaves flat and, using a spoon, fill them with the couscous. Make sure your hands are clean and dry, then fold the stem end over the filling. Neatly fold in the edges of both sides.
Grease the bottom of an oven-proof dish and place the rolled dolmades side-by-side (seam-side down) alternating the white with the red leaves,in a single layer. Sprinkle the grated cheese, dot with butter, and transfer to the oven until a nice golden crispy crust will have formed.
It can be served as a light main course or as a side dish.