Sesame Leaf Dolmades, Almond Rice, Preserved Lemon Avgolemono. Dolmades are the quintessential Greek appetiser. This variation by Peter Conistis turns the vegetarian classic on its head.
200ml extra virgin olive oil
100g eschallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch shallots, finely sliced
150g short grain rice
½ tsp dried mint
½ bunch dill, leaves finely chopped
½ bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
½ bunch mint, leaves finely chopped
70g smoked almonds, chopped
50g sesame seeds, lightly toasted
juice of 1 lemon
300ml hot water
sea salt and pepper to taste
16-20 large sesame leaves
Preserved Lemon Avgolemono
5 egg yolks
1 clove garlic, minced
60ml lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
100ml olive oil
500ml hot vegetable stock infused with pinch saffron threads
½ preserved lemon, finely diced
Heat 100ml of the oil in saucepan. Add the eshallots and shallots. Cook until soft but do not allow to colour.
Add the rice and dried mint and saute a further 2 minutes. Add the herbs, currants, almonds, sesame seeds and lemon juice whilst stirring. Season to taste. Pour in the hot water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place each leaf, rib side up on a board and add 2 teaspoons of the filling. Roll up, turn sides in as you roll. As you roll each parcel, place it join side down in a saucepan. Make sure the pan isnt too large as the dolmades will unravel. Place a plate on top of dolmades to keep them firmly pressed down. Pour over remaining olive oil and just cover with additional water. Season to taste. Bring to boil then turn down heat to a simmer and put the lid on saucepan. Cook for 20-25minutes.
Place egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in food processor or blender. With motor running, gradually add the oil (as though making a mayonnaise) until it is all incorporated. Then slowly add the stock. Fold through preserved lemon and serve with dolmades. Allow to cool slightly and serve with avgolemono.