The Turkish verb "sarmak" means "to wrap", whereas "dolmak" means "to fill/stuff": from these roots come the words sarma and dolma.
Most commonly, the sarma or dolma which have meat fillings are eaten while hot, while the ones without meat are served cold. There are exceptions to this rule of course though. The filling of meatless sarma or dolma is usually made up mostly of rice and finely chopped onions. They also typically contain pine nuts, currants, and spices. When shopping in Turkey, you will see that pine nuts are actually called "dolmalık fıstık" (dolma nuts) because their main use in Turkey is for dolma and sarma.
In this post I will give the recipe for a meatless sarma, made with cabbage leaves. Aside from cabbage leaves, the most other common leaves used for sarma include: grape leaves, kale, chard, and beet greens. When preparing dolma, the most commonly used vegetables include: peppers, zucchini, and eggplant.
Meatless sarma or dolma are usually served as an appetizer or side dish; however, those which contain meat are often served alongside yogurt (or ayran) as a main course. This is because they contain ingredients from all the food groups, so they are considered proper for a meal on their own. 
Makes about 35-40 pieces- 1 large platter
*This dish is best when made 1 day in advance!
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (280 grams)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup olive oil (120 ml + 60 ml)
3 large onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts (32 grams)
1/4 cup dried currants (28 grams)
1 tablespoon sugar (15 grams)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (3 grams)
1 teaspoon allspice (2 grams)
1 tablespoon dried mint (2 grams)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 green cabbages, medium heads (or 1 large head)
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (60 grams)
Lemon for serving
- Put rice in a bowl of warm water and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Drain, wash, and set aside.
- In large saucepan, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add onions and pine nuts and sauté for 10-15 minutes. Add rice, mix, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add salt, currants, sugar, and 1 cup of warm water. Cover and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Add cinnamon, allspice, and mint. Mix well then stir in parsley, dill, and walnuts.
For the cabbage + shaping:
- If the cabbage is not too large to handle, cut out the core.
- Bring a large pot of water with some salt to boil. Add the cabbage and boil, covered, in the water for about 3 minutes. Carefully peel away some of the outer leaves, and then cover the pot again and repeat the process until you reach the center of the cabbage. Be careful not to rip the leaves as you remove them.
- Drain and cool the leaves. Set aside ripped ones for later use.
- Cut the leaves to discard the thick veins in the middle.
- On a flat work surface, place a spoonful of filling onto the leaves and roll as depicted in pictures below. Continue until you run out of filling.
For final cooking stage:
- Place some torn leaves at the bottom of a saucepan in a single layer.
- Place rolled cabbage leaves in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, loose ends down. If you run out of space, you can make a second layer on top of the first.
- Add 1 1/2 cups warm water and 1/4 cup olive oil. You may also add a pinch of salt here.
- Bring water and oil to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 1 hour.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool down a bit before you put them into the refrigerator.
- Serve cold with fresh lemon.
 Turkish Cultural Foundation, www.turkish-cuisine.org/english/
Recipe adapted from The Turkish Cookbook: Regional Recipes and Stories