Monday, October 4, 2010

dolmas & baba ganoush

i've been way too busy to really devote time to typing out recipes (shame on me!), but there has been no lack of cooking or eating in my house.  i thought i'd come back with two recipes from a mediterranean platter that i've made a couple of times with dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), baba ganoush, pita, falafel, olives and crackers.  it's a nice little twist on the traditional sunday football snack plates.

for the stuffed grape leaves:
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon bragg liquid aminos
  • 1/3 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 6 grape leaves

bring rice and one cup water to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes. blend pine nuts, lemon juice, braggs, garlic powder and olive oil in a food processor.  mix the creamy pine nut paste with the rice.  if you have leaves in jar, pull out 6 or so larger leaves, open it up and rinse well.  lay the leave flat with the stem side up and place about a tablespoon of the rice mixture in the center.  fold the stem side up over the mixture, and then fold in the two sides of the leaf.  then just roll it up.  if you've never done this before, it will take a couple tries and maybe a couple torn leaves.  but once you get it down, it's a snap.

tightly pack the leaves seam-side down in a small non-stick skillet or small saucepan.  you want them pushed up against each other so the leave don't open while they cook.  pour about a cup of water in the pan and cover.  let them steam for about 20 minutes, then cool slightly and sprinkle with a little lemon juice before serving.

for an alternate recipe, sub out the pine nuts and olive oil, and use about 6 oz tomato sauce instead.  the lemon juice and tomato sauce are an awesome combo.  

for the baba ganoush:
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

i like the eggplant with extra roasted flavor.  traditionally you might bake with skin on and then peel it off afterward (it slides right off).  however, i cube mine and put it on a foil lined cookie sheet (spray with non-stick oil).  roast on 400°f  for about 25-30 minutes.  then i have to peel each cube, but it's pretty easy because you can just peel the skin off.  it's worth the extra effort if you like the roasty flavour.  i've tried peeling before i cube it, but i tend to loose too much eggplant.

after the eggplant has cooked, pulse all ingredients in a food processor.  it is imperative you let it sit for at least 4 hours to attain baba ganoush flavor.

i like to use the leftovers as a dressing for my overstuffed falafel pitas.  yum!


jessy said...

your mediterranean platter looks wonderful and what a brilliant idea for football snacks 'n such! so yummy! totally going to have to try something like this - and i'm gonna HAVE to make your dolmas. i've always been too lazy (and intimidated) to make my own, but i need to get off my bum & get motivated. yours look fantastical - and i'm loving your baba ganoush, too! mmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

wow that looks SO good! I love Mediterranean food! Especially hummus & baba ganoush! YUM!!

Bianca said...

That is one super-stuffed pita! I wish that was my lunch. :-) Nothing beats homemade Mediterranean food...I've never made my own dolmas, but I noticed grape leaves on closeout sale at a local grocery. I really ought to go buy them and get to work.

Anonymous said...

Love both the dolmas and baba ganoush, yummy stuff!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

I like your idea for how you bake the eggplant for baba ganouj :] And served with falafel = perfect.

Jeni Treehugger said...

This looks crazy good!

Sarah S. said...

I have been wanting to try making baba ganoush for some time now. Your method sounds perfect!

Mihl said...

That plate looks so fantastic!

Bethany said...

This looks amazing! My boyfriend is lebanese and was having trouble figuring out how to adjust his family's traditional dolmas for me (I'm vegetarian, he's not). I'll send him a link for inspiration.