Stuffed White Cabbage Leaves (Lahanodolmades) with Avgolemono Sauce
Dolmades, or stuffed leaves, are made in the winter with cabbage or even lettuce. They are traditional Greek Sunday lunch fare and very tasty. The distinctive lemon and egg sauce (avgolemono) is made here separately and has a bechamel-like consistency. The dolmades will keep well in the fridge and can be made a day in advance.
For the dolmades
1 large white cabbage or two medium ones
750g pork or beef mince
1 bunch of parsley, leaves only
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup olive oil
For the avgolemono cream sauce
2 tbsp corn flour
4 large eggs
Juice of 3 lemons
- With a sharp knife cut around the root of the cabbage.
- Chop the onion in brunoise
- Separate the parsley leaves from the stem and coarsley chop
1. In a large pot bring water and 2 tsp of salt to the boil and blanch the cabbage 5 minutes on one side and 5 on the other.
2. Remove the leaves that are soft enough and boil the rest of the cabbage again for another 5 minutes.
3. Remove the hard stem from each leaf and with these stems line the bottom of a large pot. This will protect the dolmades from burning. Cut the large leaves in half. If the leaves are too small you can make a large one by overlapping them.
4. Combine the mince meat with the chopped parsley, onions, half a cup of olive oil, the rice, 2 tsp of salt (add more if need be) and some pepper. Knead well and add some water to make a soft, pliable mix.
5. Place two tsp of stuffing in each leaf, fold the sides and roll to make a parcel. Put one next to the other snuggly in the pot and when you run out of space create a second layer.
6. Cover the dolmades with hot water and the rest of the olive oil. Cover them with a plate and simmer for about 1 hour until the stuffing and leaves are tender.
7. Carefully remove the dolmades from the pot and strain any liquids in a separate saucepan. Keep this under boiling point.
8. In a medium-sized bowl mix the corn flour with a couple of tbsp of water to form a smooth paste. Whisk this paste together with the eggs and gradually add the lemon juice. Continue whisking and very carefully, with the help of a ladle, add the hot dolmades liquids.
9. Return the egg and lemon mix to the saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes, whisking continuously to prevent the sauce from curdling. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with some hot water.
10. Cut the butter in small pieces and while the sauce is hot, stir in each one and whisk to dissolve. Wait for each one to melt before adding the next one.
11. The dolmades and the sauce will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. The dolmades can also be frozen, but not the sauce, because it contains eggs.
12. Serve 3-4 dolmades per person topped with the sauce. Any left-over sauce you can serve separately in a sauceboat.