Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'FRUIT OF THE VINE' ~ STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES with GOAT CHEESE

"For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms
And the flower becomes a ripening grape,
Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives
And remove and cut away the spreading branches."
~ Isaiah 18:5
~ Awaiting harvest
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STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES with HERB GOAT CHEESE
~ Simple tried and true classic since biblical days
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1 jar (16-oz) preserved grape leaves
3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
(shake raw pine nuts over medium heat for 5 minutes and set aside)
8 oz. crumbled creamy goat cheese
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, chives, tarragon, etc.)
1 Tbsp. rinsed capers
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon zest
fresh grapes for garnish
mint leaves
  • Rinse grape leaves under cold water and pat dry. Remove tough stems and ends. Place vein side up on clean flat surface.
  • Combine goat cheese, olive oil, and fresh herbs until smooth. Season with salt & pepper. Fold in toasted pine nuts and capers.
  • Spoon about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture in center near base of leaf. fold stem end over to cover filling. Fold both sides inward and tightly roll leaf toward pointed tip end to form a tight pocket. Place seam side down on plate. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.
  • Brush rolled leaves with oil and sprinkle with lemon juice and zest. Arrange leaf packets on serving platter. Garnish with grapes and fresh mint.


~ Grape leaf and grapes

14 comments:

Marysol said...

Oh my sweet friend, I love anything stuffed with goat cheese, but I genuflect before your incredible images.

nancybond said...

Your grape mosaics are just perfect, Joey! Purplish perfection. :)

Cindy said...

I love stuffed grape leaves but have never made them. This recipe sounds great.

joey said...

Thanks 'Sweet' Marysol ... I see you are back in 'top form' and must be feeling better! I also adore goat cheese, as you might have suspected.

Thanks Nancy ... you and I can't seem to capture enough of autumn's beckoning flush.

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

You either have an amazing set of cookbooks, or had an amazing cook for a mother! Oh, and perhaps a photographer for a father?
Brenda

joey said...

Dear Brenda ~ I watched my mother not only weave the greatest stories in the world but also mysteries in the kitchen and garden with my father always near, camera in hand even at funerals ;0)

joey said...

Cindy ~ this is so simple and a great appetizer. Enjoy! Easy is good ...

Patsi said...

As soon as I saw goat cheese...
I was sold.

joey said...

I had a feeling it would, Patsi ;)

The Garden Faerie said...

Ooh! I just love the grape photos--gorgeous and so autumnal. My friend Amy has grapes growing along her chain link fence and I successfully badgered her into giving me some of the luscious grape jelly she makes--two jars even! Which is odd, because I never liked any grape jelly bought in stores, but her homemade kinds rocks. Rocks I tell you. The stuffed grape leaves sound nice, too. I mean, you can't go far wrong with herb goat cheese!
~ Monica in Ann Arbor :)

Rose said...

I didn't know grape leaves were so beautiful. Joey, I know I left a comment on your last post, but who knows what happens to them...

The photo of the wineglass with the sun behind it is a work of art! So beautiful. I bet a wine producer would love to have it for an advertisement.

The wine looks so tempting, but I'll pass on the "chubby mary" :)

joey said...

Hi Monica ~ I hear you friend! Have never grown grapes or made grape jelly but Amy's sounds awesome. You're most fortunate to have such a generous friend. I have a dear friend who shares raspberry jam with me for my birthday, which is not too far away ... yum!

Hi dear Rose ~ thank you kindly. I love that photo too. If I ever get my site going (trying for 2 years) who knows ... perhaps you might see it on the cover of Wine Spectator (dream) and I'm with you on the Chubby Mary, enough watching hubby and friends enjoy theirs!

Mireille said...

Joey, your photos of grappes are superb!
I like all of them!

joey said...

Thank you, dear Mireille ... I so enjoy photographing succulent grapes before harvest.