Celery Root Dolmas

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 celery roots
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup uncooked rice
  • ½ pound medium-fat ground lamb shoulder or breast, or ground chuck
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Unsalted butter (optional)
  • 2 cups meat stock or water
  • LEMON-DILL SAUCE
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

How to make Celery Root Dolmas

  1. Wash the celery roots well, cut a slice off the top and the bottom. Peel the roots and cut them in half.
  2. Put 1 quart water in a pot, mix in lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the roots to the pot and cook for 20 minutes, then drain.
  3. Using a small spoon scoop out the centers, creating cavities and leaving shells about ½ inch thick. Discard the pulp and reserve the shells.
  4. Cook the onion in the butter until it begins to turn golden brown around the edges.
  5. Add the hot water and rice.
  6. Cover and simmer until almost all the water is absorbed.
  7. Cool the rice and put it in a bowl with the meat, herbs, and allspice.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and mix by hand thoroughly.
  9. Heap the celery roots with this mixture.
  10. Spread a sheet of parchment paper in a shallow, heavy pan.
  11. Arrange the dolmas side by side in the pan over the paper; dot with butter, if desired.
  12. Place another sheet of parchment over the dolmas, stir in the meat stock or water, cover, and simmer 1 hour, or until the celery roots are tender.
  13. As they cook, maintain the liquid level; at the end of cooking there should be at least 1½ cups cooking liquid in the pan.
  14. Remove the dolmas to a serving dish and keep warm while you make the sauce.
  15. Mix the egg yolks and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  16. Bring the cooking liquid in the pan to a simmer.
  17. Mix a little of the cooking liquid into the eggs.
  18. Then slowly pour the whole thing back into the pan.
  19. Adjust seasoning with salt and additional lemon juice.
  20. Stir in dill. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly.
  21. Pour the sauce over the dolmas and serve immediately with fresh, crusty bread.
  22. ENJOY!

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