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    Vine leaves are available from Middle Eastern stores. You can buy them mail order from Le Gourmet Francais on 01923 776100, or visit www.gourmet2000.co.uk

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Makes: 20


    • 1 bunch of dill, chopped
    • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 shallots, finely chopped
    • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 120g short-grain rice
    • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
    • 40g sultanas
    • 40g pine kernels
    • Juice of one lemon
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 350ml hot water
    • 20 preserved vine leaves
    • 150g cured mackerel or kipper flesh, diced finely
    • Sauce
    • Half a bunch of dill, chopped
    • 6 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 150ml warm vegetable stock
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 medium eggs, separated


    1. Heat 150ml of the oil in a large non-reactive pan. Add the shallots and onions and cook until soft. Do not colour. Add the garlic after 5 minutes. Keep the ingredients in the pan moving as you add the rice, herbs, sultanas, pine kernels and lemon juice. Season. Add the water.
    2. Cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Stir once or twice. Remove from the heat and cool.
    3. Meanwhile, soften the vine leaves in boiling water (it will take 8-15 minutes), drain and refresh in cold water. Allow to cool.
    4. Mix the mackerel or kipper with the rice. Place each leaf, shiny side down, on a board and add 2 teaspoons of the rice mix. Roll halfway up then turn the sides in and continue rolling to make a neat parcel. Dress the dolmades with the remaining 50ml oil, then refrigerate. They'll keep for up to a week. Return to room temperature before serving.
    5. To make the sauce, whisk the egg whites in a heatproof bowl until stiff. Incorporate the warm vegetable stock, whisking all the time. Then, whisking, add the yolks, a little at a time, the lemon juice and dill. Put the bowl over a pan of boiling water and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (5-6 minutes). Season. Pour over the dolmades.

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