Traditionally made with blanched vine leaves, however, the lettuce leaves are sweet and tender, retain a pleasant crisp texture and are readily available.

Chicken and Lettuce Dolmades

Serves 4


  • 1 aubergine, roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers, de-seeded and roughly sliced
  • 2 courgettes, halved length-ways
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup couscous
  • 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1T chopped fresh mint
  • 2T chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 large cos or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 4 small tomatoes


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Place aubergine, peppers, courgettes, red onions and garlic into a roasting pan.  Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 30 minutes until vegetables are starting to brown.
  3. Put couscous into a medium sized bowl and pour over ½ cup of boiling water, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.  Fluff the grains with a fork until separate and stir in lemon rind and juice.
  4. Heat a deep frying pan with a dash of olive oil, and brown chicken mince, breaking it up with the back of a spoon until browned and cooked through.  Stir in couscous with spring onions, mint and coriander.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble place lettuce leaves in a large bowl, carefully pour over boiling water.  Leave for one minute, drain and cool in cold water.  Drain and pat dry.
  6. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the lettuce leaves.  Tuck in sides and roll up.
  7. Sit the dolmades join-side down on the hot vegetables.  Add the tomatoes, cover with foil and cook for a further 12-15 minutes or until hot.
  8. Cut each dolma in half and serve with roasted vegetables.