"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."
~ Awaiting harvest
STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES with HERB GOAT CHEESE
~ Simple tried and true classic since biblical days
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
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh grapes for garnish
- 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.