Wild rice and caramelized onion dolmades

By Pino Di Cerbo
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These little parcels are the darlings of Greek and Ottoman cuisine, and now you can impress your guests with a homemade version! These dolmades boast a flavourful filling of sweet caramelized onions and nutty wild rice – the perfect pairing.

SERVES
4
 TO
6

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) butter
  • 15 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Wild Rice Filling

  • 8 cups (1.9L) water, lightly salted
  • 2 cups (470ml) wild rice
  • Salt and black pepper, to season
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Dolmades

  • 40 vine leaves (grape leaves in brine), drained, rinsed and pat dry, plus more to cover the bottom of the cooking vessel
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water, to make slurry
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions

Caramelized Onions

  1. Heat butter in a large pot set over medium-low heat, add onions and cook, stirring often, until very dark and caramelized, two to two and a half hours.
  2. Transfer the caramelized onions to a tray to cool and reserve.

Wild Rice Filling

  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the wild rice and cook about halfway (it will finish cooking in the dolmades), 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Strain the wild rice, transfer it to a tray, and let cool completely at room temperature.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the dill, parsley, and caramelized onions.
  5. Add the lemon juice, stir to combine, and set aside.

Dolmades

  1. Layer the bottom of a large pot with vine leaves.
  2. Place a vine leaf down on a work surface. Spoon one and a half tablespoons (22.5 ml) of filling at the stem end. Fold the sides over the middle, tuck in the end and roll like a cigar. Before the last fold, brush the inside leaf with cornstarch slurry.
  3. Repeat for the rest of the filling, transferring the completed rolls to the lined pot. Leave space for the rolls to expand. Depending on the size of the pot, this may need to be done in batches.
  4. Divide the water, oil, and lemon juice evenly among the batches.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid that is too small for the pan (directly on the dolmades).
  6. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until water is absorbed and only oil remains.
  7. Remove lid and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy! 

 

 

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