On a rainy day, on my way to Delphi, tired, foot-sore, cold, and feeling a little sorry for myself, I limped into a village by the Isthmus and stopped in a taverna for some sustenance. Katina, the friendly smiling owner, took one look at my bedragggled state, sat down and started asking me questions – where are you from? what are you doing? Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?
Soon after I was sitting tucking into the most delicious Lachano Dolmades – stuffed cabbage leaves. The filling was a tender mix of meat, rice and herbs, and they were covered in a delicious tangy egg lemon sauce. Typical flavours of Greece, and utterly heart and body warming. It was the perfect tonic for a cold, wet day.
For the filling
1kg Minced Beef / lamb
200g uncooked rice
400g chopped onions
Fresh dill and parsley (large handful of each)
200ml Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
For the Egg Lemon Sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup reserved juice form cooking the stiffed cabbage leaves
Mix all the Ingredients together
Blanch the cabbage leaves (plunge in boiling water for 1 minute to soften and then directly into cold water)
Fill each cabbage leave with a spoonful of the filling, fold the sides and roll to close. Place in a shallow, flat bottomed pan.
Cover with water, place a kid on the pan and cook for about 40 minutes on a low/medium heat until soft and the rice is cooked.
Strain the remaining liquid from the pan and save for the sauce:
- beat the eggs until they are light yellow and foamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add lemon juice in a steady stream and continue beating for 1 minute more.
- Add the reserved cooking liquid in a steady stream and whip for 1 minute to incorporate.
- Pour sauce into the saucepan, heat, whisking constantly, over low heat until sauce is steaming (do not let it come to a boil), about 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
To serve, pour the sauce over the stuffed leaves and enjoy 🙂