Lahanodolmades with Avgolemono sauce: Stuffed cabbage leaves

I must admit cabbage rolls have never been my favourite dish, but when I first tried these Greek style ones I was hooked. The stars in this dish are the dill in the meat combined with the avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce.) This is pure comfort food to be served on a cold winter day.

What you need:

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1/2 kilo (1 pound) ground beef
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 large sweet onion finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill chopped
  • 1 carrot finely diced 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How it’s done:

  • Using a paring knife, remove the core of the cabbage.
  • In a large pot of salted water blanch the whole cabbage until the leaves are supple and easy to roll. (5-10 min) 
  • Remove the cabbage from the water and when cool enough carefully remove the leaves. Reserve the pieces that are too small. 
  • In a mixing bowl combine onion, beef, dill and season with salt and pepper. Form into balls about the size of a golf ball.
  • On a flat surface take a cabbage leaf and place a meat ball in the centre near the bottom.
  • Fold the bottom up first, then fold up each side. Now roll the meat away from you until you have a tight little package.
  • Continue with each meatball until you have used all the meat and leaves. Some of the larger leaves may be cut in half. 
  • Line the bottom of a large pot with the unused cabbage and the carrot.
  • Tightly pack the cabbage rolls into the pot, adding layers as needed.
  • Add the olive oil and enough water to cover.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour.
  • When the rolls are done, remove 1 cup of the liquid and let cool (leave the rolls in rest of the liquid.)
  • Beat the egg and lemon together and slowly add the cooled liquid.
  • Remove the rolls from the liquid and add the egg-lemon mixture to the remaining liquid (strain out the carrot and loose cabbage.) 
  • To serve, arrange the lahanodolmades and drizzle the avgolemono on top. Serve warm.
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