I love stuffed vegetables. I love them even more when someone else does the stuffing.
All that mixing and scooping can be a drag after a long, hard day of blogging. Here's a shortcut that leads to the very same taste and texture with less effort.
Robyn calls it Dolma Deconstructed, because it breaks the traditional dolma recipe down into its basic components: vegetables, rice and meat.
Here's the deal...
Dolma Deconstructed (serves four)
1 cup white rice
1 pound chopped meat (lamb, beef or turkey)
1 medium onion, diced
1 handful of chopped parsley
3 medium zucchini (or veggie of your choice), peeled and cut into half-inch slices
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper
Cook the rice according to package directions.
While the rice is cooking, saute the onion and zucchini until both just start to soften. Add the parsley, stir, then remove from heat.
Brown the meat. Drain excess fat, then add seasonings to taste.
Add the diced tomato, stir, then thicken with the tomato paste
Add the zucchini and onion and season again.
Add lemon juice, or sumac.
(Optional: Add one beef bouillon cube and stir until dissolved.)
Cook on medium-high heat until the zucchini is tender (about 15 to 20 minutes)
Serve with the rice -- side-by-side, on top or any way you like. Also serve with cold yogurt. Eat it with your eyes closed and you'll swear you're eating dolma!