Dolmades Tart with Feta Yogurt Sauce
Where has this summer gone? It's already August! Our favorite farmstands are full of fantastic produce (heirloom tomatoes, zucchini and peaches) but closer to home I discovered wild grapes on our daily walks. I foraged this beautiful edible bouquet, but you can certainly use jarred grape leaves for this recipe. Make sure to rinse them well because the brine is very salty.
Dolmades or Dolmas are stuffed grape leaves which can be filled with meat or vegetables. We're skipping the meat and the rolling into cigar shapes of the dolmades and instead using the leaves to wrap the rice filling as a small tart. Nutty wild rice, onions, garlic and zucchini filling pairs well with the lemony flavor of the grape leaf crust. Once baked, top with a yogurt feta sauce and fresh herbs.
Prepare the grape leaves – Wash the grape leaves. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the grape leaves, cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes. Using tongs, remove the leaves from the water and plunge into an ice bath. Let the leaves soak for another 15-20 minutes until cool. Remove from the water, trim the stems and place on a kitchen towel to drain the excess water.
Cook the rice – Rinse the wild rice in cold water and drain well. In a nedium pan, add the rice, 1¾ cup of water, 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Make the filling – In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and vegan butter and sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook until lightly browned, about 5 more minutes. Add the cooked rice, pumpkin seeds, raisins and herbs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the yogurt feta sauce – Heat the Violife feta in the microwave in 15 second increments until melted. Add the yogurt and whisk until smooth.
Assemble the tarts – Lightly oil four 8 oz ramekins. Place 4 grape leaves in each ramekin, covering the bottom, with the serrated edges at the top with about 2″ overhang. Spoon about a cup of filling in each ramekin. Fold the leaves in and around the filling. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes until lightly browned. Serve with yogurt feta sauce and chopped herbs.
makes 4 individual tarts
- 16 fresh grape leaves
- 1 cup Lundberg wild rice blend
- ⅔ cup chopped sweet onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into half moon shapes
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp golden raisins
- 2 tbsp each- chopped dill, parsley and mint
YOGURT FETA SAUCE
- 2 oz Violife feta
- 2 oz plain cashew yogurt
- chopped fresh parsley, dill and mint