Mediterranean dolmades with cashew tzatziki

Megan May unravels a classic dolma recipe and ‘uncooks’ a delicious raw alternative

  • 30 mins preparation chill time
  • Makes 20 Item
  • Print


Cashew tzatziki
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoon dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, finely diced
Mediterranean Dolmades
  • 1 cup parsnip or fresh jerusalem artichoke, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating dolmas
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoon capers, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon preserved lemon, finely chopped (or zest of 1/2 lemon and an extra 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 3 tablespoon pine nuts or chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon dried currants or barberries
  • 6 olives (any kind), pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 20 grape leaves


Mediterranean dolmades with cashew tzatziki
  • 1
    To make cashew tzatziki, place all the ingredients except the dill and cucumber into a high-powered blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Fold in the dill and cucumber. Leave to rest for 30 minutes to allow the flavour of the cucumber and dill to develop in the sauce. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 4-5 days.
  • 2
    In a food processor, pulse the parsnip and cauliflower pieces to achieve the texture of large rice grains.
  • 3
    Transfer mixture to a bowl and pour in lemon juice, mixing with a wooden spoon to preserve the colour. Then mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently stir in the rest of the ingredients (except grape leaves and oil for coating). Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • 4
    Rinse grape leaves and pat dry. Put around 1½ tablespoons of the filling into the centre of each leaf and fold – fold up the stem end first, then the sides, then roll tightly.
  • 5
    Coat dolmades with some olive oil. They keep in the refrigerator for several days. When ready to serve, arrange on a platter with a dish of tzatziki.


You can get barberries at Persian food stores or online at

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