Serves 4 as meze or makes 20 dolmades


2 onions, finely chopped

50ml olive oil

1 bird's-eye chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

250g passata or 400g can chopped tomatoes

1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped

4 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves

250g long grain or pudding rice

Optional extras 50g pines nuts & 50g of chopped dried figs

250g fresh vine leaves, destalked (or use leaves in brine, drained)

salt & pepper to taste

200ml vegetable stock

2 lemons, cut in wedges


1. Preheat the oven to 180’C / fan 160’C / gas 4.

2. In a large frying pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil & soften the onions until transparent.

3. Add the chilli & rice stir for 1 minute, add the tomatoes

4. Then add the herbs & season. Stir well & then take off the heat & allow to cool a little (so you don’t burn your fingers)

5. Have ready a stack of the prepared vine leaves, vein side facing up, the rice mixture and a shallow preferably circular ovenproof dish ready to put the dolmades in.

6. To make a Dolmade place 1 tsp. of the mixture one third up from the centre base of a leaf, fold the leaf over the rice from the base then fold in the left and right side of the leaf. Roll up the leaf to make a mini cigar shape.

7. Continue until all the Dolmades are made and tightly packed side by side in the dish. Squeeze over the lemon juice then cover the dolmades with the remaining vine leaves.

8. Place a plate, upside down on top of the vine leaves then pour the stock in around the edge of the dish to come up to just where it touches the plate. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes.

9. Serve warm or cold with a drizzle of olive oil