I have been wanting to make Dolma for a while now, it is an Eastern European way of hollowing and stuffing vegetables which have the typical appearance of looking rolled. Most cooks will stuff their chosen vegetable with cheese and meat, or cheese and fish. I decided to stuff mine with Orzo, a rice shaped pasta, sweet peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Why not just use rice instead? Orzo has the most delicious flavor, that even the finest risotto rice cannot duplicate. I use this a lot in my pasta dishes and soups. Be sure to try it some time!
1 Aubergine (Eggplant)
1 Green pepper
1 Red pepper
2 Chili peppers
2 cups of Orzo
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic
6 fresh leaves of basil
1/2 cup of mature cheddar cheese or vegan substitute
4 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius
For the filling
Get out your chopping board and chop the shallots, green and red peppers and basil. Set aside.
Peel and crush the garlic.
Slice the two chili peppers carefully down the middle. Whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes afterward.
Take a deep frying pan and sprinkle it with oil, and fry the Orzo for 5 minutes.
Add the shallots, green and red peppers, basil and garlic.
When the Orzo looks browned, add in the chili peppers.
Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes and also the vegetable stock.
Stir and let simmer until the mixture looks more condensed. May take 20 minutes.
For the Aubergine(eggplant)
Peel the aubergine.
Slice it in thin vertical strips, but not too thin that they may tear.
Soak the strips in salted water while preparing the filling above.
Fry the strips in the 4 tablespoons of oil. It may sound like a lot, but it helps soften the eggplant.
Sprinkle generously with salt while frying.
When tender put strips onto a paper towel, that way some of the excess oil comes out.
Take each strip and place a spoonful of the Orzo filling on top.
Carefully take both ends of the eggplant strip and pull them up towards the middle. This is easier than actually rolling the eggplant. If you would rather roll each strip, be extra careful they do not break.
Place the now rolled and stuffed eggplant strips into a casserole dish of your choosing.
Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
After removing from the oven, grate the mature cheddar cheese over the Dolma.
If you have any Orzo left, place a little in the middle of your dish, and surround this with the Rolled Eggplant (Dolma).