Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stuffed Grape Leaves

We are thinking of hosting a Greek dinner in June for our Gourmand Club, so I decided to experiment with a Greek appetizer. I found a recipe for stuffed grape leaves that called for apricots, which sounded good, so Saturday morning I gathered these organic, free range leaves from the field behind our house. I picked only the most perfect ones and boiled them for 5 minutes to make them pliable. You can purchase them in brine at the store, but it made me feel good that I could harvest them for free.

Here's the mixture that goes inside: rice, spinach, apricots, a shallot, lemon juice, salt and pepper. You put a tablespoon of the mixture on the stem, fold up and over, then in from the right and left, and tucking neatly roll them up. The mixture conforms to the roll and they are surprisingly easy to make.

Then you arrange them on extra leaves in a saute pan, drizzle with olive oil and vegetable broth (of which I had none so I used chicken broth which I'm sure wasn't right), cover them with more extra leaves, and simmer them for 30 minutes.

Then you arrange them on a platter and top them with squares of feta cheese. Ta da! And they tasted very good, but here are the changes I'm planning.
  • Use vegetable broth because the chicken added a wrong flavor.
  • Make more, lots more, because they were really good.
  • Serve them with the more traditional yogurt sauce instead of the feta cheese because the cheese splits and falls off when you try to eat one.

All in all this was a successful experiment here Amongst The Oaks. Kalí óreksi!


Stickhorsecowgirls said...

These look amazing!!! My blog friend "C" and I are trying to get her Greek mother-in-law who writes to share some of her wonderful recipes especially the lemon soup and almond cookies! She grew up in a family that ran a Greek restaurant in New Jersey which she says was very much like My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Anonymous said...

Those look so pretty and tasty!

Karen xoxo