Riceless stuffed grape leaves! I LOVE stuffed grape leaves, and not even just as a vector for my toum addiction.
When I was low carbing - and eventually going onto the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) - they were off the table, unless tweaked. Rice is carby, and it's also not compliant for AIP.
Enter: Celery Root.
I got into celery root a couple years ago, as a nice substitute for rice. Peel it, run it through a food processor, and you're good to go. I'd use it for Fried "rice", as a base for Buffalo Chicken meatballs, in cabbage rolls, etc. When I started making toum at home, I had to see if it would work for dolmades. I'm happy to report that YES, it does.
These have all the flavour - as well as the appropriate texture - as the traditional, rice-filled dish. This is actually one of the top two AIP dishes we make here, along with my AIP Fish Tacos. My husband may not be following the AIP diet himself, but he would happily live on these two dishes alone!
Now, I'd originally written the recipe out and scheduled this before COVID was a big thing, so I'd like to add some info here, for those looking to make it in the next few months.
1. Up until recently, we've made these with fresh dill and mint. Given the current grocery situation, we recently made a batch using dried mint and dill. I'm happy to say that it worked beautifully! Just sub 2 Tbsp each of dried dill and dried mint - to start - cook it up, taste, and add a bit more if you like.
2. Once the filling is cooked up, it can be cooled, put in freezer bags, and frozen. We made up a big batch at the beginning of this, divided it up, and froze them. To use, we allow them to thaw, and just continue rolling it up from there. I haven't tried freezing fully assembled dolmades, so no idea how that would work.
However you end up doing up these riceless stuffed grape leaves - fresh, dried, frozen, whatever - just be sure to try them. WITH lots of toum, of course!
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