Collard Green Dolmas

Collard Green Dolmas

Makes eight to ten 1 ½” x 3 ½” dolmas (but can be easily scaled for more!) 

1 tablespoon olive oil

77 grams (½ small) yellow onion, small dice 

115 grams (½ cup) white short or long grain rice, rinsed  

½ teaspoon allspice 

¼ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground 

225 grams (1 cup) water

2 tablespoons lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped 

¼ cup parsley, finely chopped 

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and a big pinch of salt, and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the onions are translucent but not taking on any color. Add the rice, allspice, and cumin, and cook for a minute so everything is fragrant. Add the water, bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 18 minutes so the rice is fully cooked. Let cool 10 minutes. 

Transfer the cooked rice to a bowl and add the lemon juice, dill, parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix to combine and set aside. 

For the Collard Greens 

1 bunch (8-10 small or 5 large) collard green leaves, rinsed  

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, prep your collard greens. Using a small sharp knife, trim the stem to the point where the leaf begins. Then, with the knife tip pointing towards the tip of the leaf, turn the knife at a 45º angle and shave along the rib to thin it (this makes it easier to roll the leaf). 

Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with ice and water. When the water has come up to a boil, submerge each leaf in the water for 30 seconds (doing them individually or in pairs if leaves are smaller works best), then plunge into the ice bath. Set the leaves aside in a colander to drain. 

To Assemble 

With a kitchen towel, blot off any excess water on your collard leaves. Lay a leaf down on a work surface with the rib laying vertically. Note: if using large leaves, cut them in half so you have pieces with the narrow sides roughly 6” wide. Add a scoop (about 2 tablespoons) of the rice mixture to the part of the leaf closest to you, 2” from the edge and leaving at least 1 ½” of space on the sides of the leaf. To seal the wrap, fold the bottom of the leaf over the rice, and gently pull the rice towards you to get everything snug. Bring the sides inwards on top of the leaf, then roll away from you and press down gently so you form a cigar shape. Repeat with remaining leaves and rice, adjusting the amount of filling as desired. 

Note: this next step is optional, as the dolmas are delicious without further cooking. However, this next step is the more traditional way and will soften the collards a bit more. 

2 tablespoons lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon olive oil

⅓ cup water 

Kosher salt 

Arrange the dolmas in the bottom of the medium saucepan, seam side down, covering the circumference of the pot and keeping them as close together as possible. Drizzle the lemon juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt over the dolmas. Add ⅓ cup water and place a small plate or other dish inverted on top of them (round glass food storage containers often work great for this as they are heat safe). Set the pot over medium-high heat to bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer with the lid off and cook for 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Uncover and remove the plate, and transfer to a plate. Enjoy immediately or cool in the refrigerator to enjoy later.

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