Many of you ask where we get our vine leaves. Our producer, Marianna has been producing vine leaves for more than 20 years. They are collected from the family’s vineyard in Chalkidiki, Nothern Greece. Their stems are removed and the vine leaves are carefully rolled and packed in brine. The entire process from farm to table only lasts a few hours, so that they retain all of their freshness and nutrients. We really like this ingredient! So this week we decided to experiment a bit with it.
And here it is, a somewhat unusual recipe for you. Think: dolmades meet cheese pie. What does this mean? It means that we are using vine leaves, but not stuffing them in the classic way! When looking into what else we could do with those tasty leaves (our) Marianna suggested: why don’t you stuff them with cheese? It was brilliant!
And watch this space, we will soon share with your our classic dolmadakia recipe, stuffed with rice and plenty of herbs!
In a bowl grate the graviera and manouri. Season with thyme and add the lemon zest. Mix well.
In a chopping board or clean surface, lay a vine leaf, veins down, bottom side down and the pointy sides facing away from you. Place a large teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the middle. Carefully fold the vine leaf bottom edges forwards, then the two sides inwards. Then roll it away from you, like a cigar.
Place the dolmadakia tightly together, seam side down, in concentric circles in a pot and in one layer. If you have more and need to continue to a second layer, place some vine leaves between the two layers.
Pour over the dolmadakia enough water so that they are just covered and 5 tbsp of olive oil. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and let the dolmadakia cook until the vine leaves are tender, for around 40 minutes.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
*you can find graviera and manouri cheese at our chop at Borough Market.