Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
So, I’m all for the Daring Cooks, because it forces you to try things that you’re not familiar with. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes it’s a miss… but you try it anyways.
This month was stuffed grape leaves. I wasn’t really feeling the idea of stuffing them with pork or beef, so instead I opted for something simple and easy to make. This recipe is great because it’s mostly assembly-only, other than a bit of prep. These are great tapas for a party — which reminds me, it’s almost time for holiday parties! You could even make these a day in advance, and just heat them up in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, to melt the goat cheese.
Grape Leaves Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Figs
Adapted from Honest Fare
Makes about 48
1 jar grape leaves (about 48 leaves)
8 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
fresh cracked pepper
Unroll the grape leaves, and separate carefully. Lay lightly on top of one another in a large shallow bowl. Pour boiling water over the leaves, gently shake the bowl to make sure the water gets in between the grape leaves. Let soak for about 20 minutes. Drain grape leaves, then repeat with 2-3 changes of cold, fresh water. Lay on kitchen towels.
Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Make sure they do not burn.
In the bottom of a mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, figs, and walnuts. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir gently to combine. Add red wine vinegar and cracked black pepper. Feel free to adjust seasoning to taste.
Place 1 tablespoon filling in the middle of each grape leaf. Fold in the sides, then roll up (like you would a burrito.) If you need further instruction, see this video, at about minute 3:30.
Au Revoir Simone / Another Likely Story (Aeroplane Remix)