One of summer’s Greek traditional foods in a different version; our favorite stuffed vine leaves with crabmeat and rice accompanied with a light and very tasty saffron sauce. A very tasty and light dish that you will excite you!!
Vine leaves, available in the farmers’ market this time of year, except their delicious taste, they are very nutritious, since they contain vitamins, minerals and many other nutrients and therapeutic substances.
Their strong asset is the large amount of vitamin A, K, and copper they contain. If we add other nutritional substances, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin C, B vitamins (B1 – thiamine, B2 – riboflavin, B3 – niacin, B5 – pantothenic acid and folic acid), calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, protein and fiber, they climb high in nutritional assessment. They are a healthy choice for diabetics, since they have a low glycemic load, while classified as anti-inflammatory foods because of the natural antioxidants they contain.
According to surveys, vine leaves extract of red grapes has therapeutic effects in chronic venous insufficiency (when the blood cannot easily return from the legs to the heart) reducing the swelling in the legs. This is due to flavonoids. Old red vine leaves, in particular, are used in folk medicine of Mediterranean countries as a poultice on swollen feet, to improve blood circulation and fortify the walls of blood vessels of the legs.
Fresh vine leaves make an appearance at farmers’ markets and grocery stores usually in June. In some vineyards leaves are picked (carefully, not to injure the arbor) as early as May. It should be tender and fresh, without a lot of “nerves”, and mainly to come from a vineyard that has not been sprayed with pesticides. Kept in the freezer until the next harvest, in groups (e.g. in bunches of 10 leaves in a special bag for food). Previously they should be rinsed well and dried (some housewives blanch in hot salted water with some lemon or vinegar and then submerse them again in cold water).
I cooked dolmadakia in steam. Otherwise, be sure to put in the bottom of the pot a few extra vine leaves to avoid sticking. Also, put a weight on top of them (e.g. an upturned plate) to not unfold as they boil.
Preparation & cooking time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 (34 pieces)
- 34 tender vine leaves
- 2 oz crabmeat
- 1/3 cup (2.5 oz) rice
- 1 medium onion (4.2 oz approx.), chopped
- 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz) butter or 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil (I used butter)
- 7 oz chopped fresh parsley
- ¾ cup (185 ml) buttermilk,
- ¾ cup (7.7 oz) yoghurt 2% fat
- salt, pepper
- Wash vine leaves and put them for 2 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain and lay them out, carefully, one by one in a colander.
- Boil the rice for 5 minutes in boiling water and drain.
- In a frying pan, over medium heat, heat the butter or olive oil and add the onion. Sauté the onion until lightly browned and then add the parsley. Sauté for 1 minute, add the rice, salt and pepper and stir. Finally add the crabmeat and mix well.
- Wrap the stuffed vine leaves, putting a teaspoon of filling on each leave. Cook the in steam for about 30 minutes.
- For the sauce, heat the buttermilk over very low heat and add 2 to 3 fiber saffron. Stir and leave a few minutes to cool. Add the yogurt and mix well.
- Serve the stuffed vine leaves and drizzle with the sauce.
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