My first encounter with midia dolma was in autumn 1968 at an upscale Armenian wedding reception on Long Island.
It wasn’t a large affair, but it was lavish. The reception was catered by an Armenian restaurant in New York City that had a fabulous reputation; the food was impeccable.
I had just turned 19. My younger brother, Drew, and I were lingering around the buffet table filled with luscious appetizers, eyeballing a platter of something we’d never seen before – mussel shells stuffed with mussels, rice, something that looked like little raisins, and pine nuts.
It looked intriguing, but we hesitated. One of the older guests assured us it was worth tasting, so we figured “what the heck.” One bite was all it took! The flavors were unique, and addictive.
Drew and I couldn’t get enough. A platter would arrive; we’d polish it off. This went on for a platter or two more. We finally had our fill, and feeling a little guilty, decided we’d better let others have some, too.
I mentioned to my Aunt Arpie that I’d love to make this recipe, but it looked like so much work. Lucky for me she had a short-cut recipe that she shared.
I’ve been using it for years. Now I’ll share it, too.
Shepherds of long ago created meals of wild greens and herbs as they sought nourishment…