Stuffed cabbage rolls with avgolemono (Lahanodolmades)
- cabbage: 1, fluffy and light
- olive oil: 1/3 cup, for the saucepan
- onion: 1, sliced, for the bottom of the pot
- For the stuffing
- mixed ground meat (lamb & pork or beef & pork): 500 g
- onions: 2, grated
- scallions: 2-3, finely chopped
- carrots: 2, grated
- dill: ½ bunch, finely chopped
- parsley: ½ bunch, finely chopped
- rice: 1 cup
- olive oil: ½ cup
- salt freshly ground pepper
- For the egg & lemon (avgolemono) sauce
- eggs: 2 yolks
- lemons: 2
Run a knife around the center rib of the cabbage and remove it. Immerse the cabbage into a pot of boiling water with the hole facing down. Boil for 15΄until slightly softened.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients listed in the stuffing section and knead to mix thoroughly. Separate the leaves from the cabbage head one by one, cut off the hard stems, place one tablespoon of the meat mixture onto the centre of the leaf and roll up. Line the bottom of a large pot with cabbage leaves and onion slices. Lay the stuffed cabbage rolls on top in tightly packed rows. Place an inverted plate on top to prevent unrolling.
Pour in water or chicken stock barely to cover, add 1/3 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with dill and parsley sprigs. Cover and simmer for 50΄-55΄.
- For the egg and lemon sauce, whisk the 2 egg yolks with the juice of 2 lemons and thin out the mixture spooning in some stock from the pot of the cabbage rolls. Pour the sauce onto the rolls and shake the pot gently to distribute. For a more creamy sauce, add a tablespoon of corn or wheat flour.
If you like retsina, seek out a well-made bottled version of the Greek national wine. Otherwise, to accompany the time-honored lahanodolmades, opt for a 2-3 year old Santorini. Its gently oxidized aromas, its body and mineral mouth pair nicely with the cabbage rolls lending themselves well even to the challenging avgolemono sauce.