janet @ the taste space

Raw Dolmas with a Cilantro-Tahini Sauce

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on March 18, 2014 at 5:39 AM

Did you know March is
National Nutrition Month? While I celebrate proper nutrition every day (ok, 3 times a week here), I was encouraged by Erika to join Houston’s VegOut! challenge to eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days.

Thirty different vegetables in thirty days? Even as a veggie-loving gal, that’s a pretty huge feat. Look at my sidebar. I have favourites. Barring onions, my top ten are: garlic (227 recipes, and I don’t even tag all my garlic), tomato (139 recipes), ginger (121 recipes), carrot (110 recipes), red bell pepper (82 recipes), spinach (64 recipes), mushroom (50 recipes), kale (44 recipes), zucchini (44 recipes) and broccoli (36 recipes).

 may have won the first challenge with her black bean and veggie burgers (with 15 vegetables!) but I thought I’d try my best with their second challenge: my best jicama dish.

No stranger to jicama, I have enjoyed mostly in Mexican-inspired dishes: a raw burrito and as a cranberry-jicama salsa. This time, I decided to switch avenues and was inspired by Middle Eastern flavours. Packed with vegetables (7 if you include olives, but I think they are technically fruits), these are a fun twist on dolmas, stuffed grape leaves.

Instead of cooked rice, the jicama is riced into small pieces. Jicama is quite moist, so it needs a thorough drying before being incorporated with the cucumber, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. If you don’t have jicama, cauliflower would work, too. Dill and mint were used for the filling and cilantro for the green tahini dipping sauce. With all the fresh ingredients, the flavours really popped.

This was also the first time I tried grape leaves raw. I mean, without steaming them first. Steaming makes them more tender and less salty, but this was a quick and easy way to enjoy them.

Do you think you could eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days? How do you like to eat jicama?

PS. This is my submission to Raw Food Thursdays and to VegOut Jicama: #vegoutjicama #vegoutrfs

Raw Dolmas with a Cilantro-Tahini Sauce
Adapted from g0lubka who adapted it from Living Raw Food

1 quart jar of marinated grape leaves, rinsed and destemmed — if you don’t like salty flavours, feel free to steam them first but I ate them raw just fine
(I used around half of the leaves, so double the filling if you want to use the entire container)

2 cups jicama (cauliflower could work, too!)
2.5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours and chopped finely
1 cup cucumber, cut into small cubes
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 shallot, minced
5 olives (I used kalamata), pitted and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, process the jicama until it resembles large grains of rice. Place jicama in several layers of paper towel and squeeze it to remove all excess water. Add to a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and zest. Toss with olive oil, soaked sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, shallot, olives, dill and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine well. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. If you can get it to drain in a colander, that would be great, but mine didn’t leak any liquid.

2. Rinse the grape leaves and pat dry. Destem the leaves if there is any stem attached. Place 1.5 tbsp of filling in the middle of the leaf. Roll up from the stem side first, next roll in the sides and then tightly roll the remainder of the leaf (see pictures here).

3. Serve with the cilantro-tahini sauce (see below).

Makes 24 dolmas.

Cilantro-Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped and loosely packed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup water

1. Add all ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth.

Makes 3/4 cup.

Serves 4.

  1. I’ve done “rice” with cauliflower and parsnips, but never thought about jicama. Definitely trying this – it’s one of my favorites! I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten 30 veggies in a day… I eat a TON of variety. But now I have to do it and count. Everything is a competition, right? 😉

  2. How delicious – and these photos are better than restaurant quality! Yum!

  3. Wow, this is a really interesting way to use jicama! These grape leaves sound so crispy and intensely flavored. I think I’d have a fairly hard time cramming in 30 veg in 30 days–mostly because I tend to eat leftovers for half my meals already, and those have repeats by definition. But maybe some massive salads and stews would be a good strategy.

  4. Wow, these look amazing! I love dolmas so I know I’m about to love these too; just gotta get my hands on some grape leaves.

  5. Woowoo! So glad you decided to join the challenge–this is such an amazing looking recipe!! I’ve been wanting to try stuffed grape leaves for forever but I didn’t realize you could eat them raw! Yummm. I think a cookoff is definitely in order 🙂

  6. What a fun challenge. All my favourites are your favourites 🙂 Kale, ginger, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, garlic, etc.
    These dolmas look great. I’ve always wanted to try jicama but I’ve never found it here.

  7. Oh yeah! I had raw dolmas at a raw foods party once and loved them. Your sauce sounds incredible. Making that sauce tonight! The dolmas are going to take some advanced planning, but well worth the wait! Thanks for sharing them at Raw Foods Thursdays!

  8. Oh this is too fun! I love the challenge! Can’t wait to see what else you craft up!

    I love jicama but almost never see it in store and therefore, never cook with it. I hope that changes soon!

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