Dolma is common throughout the middle east and the surrounding regions. Dolma is a verbal noun of the turkish word dolmka, which means to stuff. Dolma is typically a stuffed vegetable. There is a wrapped variety that is actually called Sarma, however some languages don’t make the distinction. American English is one of these languages and thus we know dolmas as the wrapped grape leaf, but it can be both stuffed or wrapped.
In Armenia the Dolma is extremely popular and they do both the stuffed and wrapped, typically with a meat filling.
I decided that the vegetable I am going to stuff is zucchini. I made a stuffed zucchini once for a friend’s birthday. When I made it I tried using a melon baller and broke half the zucchini. I have my friend Ann help me make this dish and she figures out it is way easier to use an apple corer. She goes all the way through then cuts a small slice of the cored zucchini to make the base.
Stuff it with a lamb mixture.
Then cook in the sauce.
The result is that the zucchini is cooked while the meat still needs time. So by the time the meat is done the zucchini is way over cooked for my taste. However the meat filling is flavorful. Next time I would just par-cook the meat, so both come out well.
Some news about me, I recently got introduced to a company that is looking for a director. I wasn’t really expecting to go on the job market, but I do need to start thinking about paying the bills and these ingredients are expensive. So I’m going to interview and see what happens.
Original recipe can be found here
- 6 zucchini’s, cut into 3 inches
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup rice, cooked
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus a dash
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 Tbps. lime juice, divided
- 1/3 cup dried sumac berries
- dash of sugar
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Core out the zucchini’s.
- Dilute 1/2 a can of tomato paste in 1/2 cup water
- Combine ground lamb, rice, tomato paste water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
- Cook lamb until about half way done.
- Wrap sumac berries in cheesecloth and tie closed with twine.
- Combine dash of remaining tomato paste, salt, sugar, lime juice, vegetable broth in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Discard sumac berries.
- Fill the cavity of each prepped vegetable about 1/2-way with the meat-rice stuffing. Don’t fill completely; leave room for rice to expand.
- Place stuffed vegetables side-by-side in a large pot.
- Pour sauce over the veggies. Place a small dish on top of the vegetables, then put small pot of water on top of the dish to hold the vegetables down during cooking.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.