Beet Leaf and Haggis Dolma from A Taste of the Highlands

  06 Dec '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn

The Christmas party season is upon us, and if you are entertaining, we have the perfect canape to serve your guests. A Taste of the Highlands by Ghillie Basan fuses traditional Scottish ingredients with globally inspired techniques and flavours, and her Beet Leaf and Haggis Dolma offers a Turkish twist on Scotland’s national dish.

Beet Leaf and Haggis Dolma from A Taste of the Highlands by Ghillie Basan

Haggis is wonderful for any kind of dolma – a Turkish word for a vegetable or leaf that is stuffed. I grow my own beetroot and, like a true Highlander, I like to use every part of the plant, so I pick the leaves to make dolma and cut the stems for pickling. If you don’t have beet leaves, you can use any other good-sized leaf, such as kale, lettuce, small cabbage, spinach and, when in season, I use wild garlic leaves. I like to serve the dolma with pickled beetroot stems.

Serves 4
1 haggis, roughly 450g
50–60 beet leaves, steamed or blanched
1 tbsp brown or yellow mustard seeds
60g butter
2 tsp finely chopped preserved lemon
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Put the haggis into a pot, fill it with water and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C), 350°F, gas mark 4.

Place the steamed beet leaves in a pile on a board. Take two of them and place one across the other – like a cross. Slit open the haggis, take out a heaped teaspoonful and place it in the middle of the cross. Lift one leaf edge over it, then the next edge, until all four edges have sealed in the haggis like a parcel.

Place it seam-side down in an oven dish and carry on with the rest of the leaves and haggis. You should end up with 25–30 little dolma.

Tip the mustard seeds into a small pan and dry-roast them until they begin to pop. Add the butter and let it melt around the seeds, then stir in the preserved lemon. Season with black pepper and spoon the butter over the dolma.

Pop the dish in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot, while the haggis is soft, with lemon wedges to squeeze over them.

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