our big raw greek picnic

July 29, 2009


It wouldn’t have been Britain without a sprinkle, but we managed to eat everything before ducking for cover.

I’m talking about Sunday’s Raw Food UK potluck picnic.  Raw Food UK is a friendly Yahoo group I’ve belonged to for a few months now, and this past weekend we decided to get together for a little food and fun.  Lucky me, it happened just down the road from me at Kensington Gardens where I normally run.

Check out the spread: that’s Sandra’s mango salsa and beetroot flax crackers, Lucy’s chocolate coconut brownies, Debbie’s sunny melons, David’s studded gingerbread, and my tomato corn salsa and guacamole (notice how the stone keeps things perky green!)

But wait, that was before Gina got there.  Gina, a.k.a. The Raw Greek, came armed with a bunch of can’t-believe-they’re-raw goodies, including these amazing dolmades made with vine leaves from her mother’s garden:


I actually prefer these to rice-filled leaves because the parsnip is so crisp and refreshing.  These things were like potato chips, and they were gone just as quickly.  I thought they were the star of the spread, until she brought out another winner.  Kiwi leathers:
Oh my.  These were reminiscent of the fruit roll-ups I had as a kid but so much better.  And there’s only one ingredient in ’em.  Yep: kiwis!  Really ripe ones, says Gina, blended to a pulp and spread out on a dehydrator.

Thanks to Sandra for scribbling the details down – as you can see it’s a fairly loose recipe.  Now I just need a garden full of vine leaves.

The Raw Greek Dolmades
Makes 30

30 fresh vine leaves
4 parsnips
2 tablespoons mint
4 tomatoes
1/2 red onion
3/4 cup pine nuts
Lemon juice, olive oil, and salt for marinade

Marinate the vine leaves overnight in lemon juice, oil, and salt.

Pulse the parsnips in a food processor; then add remaining ingredients.  Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil marinade from the leaves and continue pulsing until combined.  Fill and roll.

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  1. earthmother August 1, 2009 at 00:59

    My taste buds perked up at Beetroot Flax Crackers (which look like pepperoni slices on the plate!) and Kiwi Leathers. Hmmm, something new and different.

  2. David July 30, 2009 at 13:48

    GReat post, and really good to meet everyone – awesome food. Gina is just the tops – what a star (on ice).

  3. Jess July 30, 2009 at 09:34

    Thank you so much for clarifying, Gina, I was sure I had left something out!

  4. Gina Panayi July 30, 2009 at 00:11

    Just to confirm that the vine leaves used for this have to be young and tender, when the leaves get too big they become tough and not as palatable.
    Also when making the recipe marinade the leaves for atleast 2 hours, and for the filling pulse the parsnip and pine nuts seperately and half the tomato, finely chop the rest of the tomato and then throw everything into a bowl and mix by hand adding more lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Yummy.
    Get those vine leaves while you can, they should be good until around September.
    As for the fruit leathers, any fruit can be used, my particular favourite is peaches and galia melons, once dehydrated you can refridgerate them and they become crunchy. Enjoy.
    Lots of live
    The Raw Greek

  5. Jess July 29, 2009 at 16:56

    Let’s see if the chefs come forward!

  6. Jess July 29, 2009 at 16:56

    Wow, thank you so much, Cath!

  7. green ink July 29, 2009 at 14:38

    My oh my, that is a feast to behold. The dolmades sound divine – and I’ve got to know more about the gingerbread and chocolate coconut brownies ;)

  8. Cath July 29, 2009 at 14:18

    My neighbour has a load of vine leaves that grow over into my garden.. so let me know if you are in Finsbury Park and I can show you!

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