Grape Leaves Recipes

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Cucumber and Yogurt Salad Recipe Recipe

I'm still working on using the cucumbers from our garden. I know my husband Lulu spent a lot of time planting all the vegetables so I try my best to make flavorful dishes using the results of his hard labor. 

Today I used Marketmore cucumbers and served them as a first course. The dish was composed of seeded, sliced cucumbers, finely chopped pickled grape leaves and diced red bell peppers. I tied the flavors of the salad together with a dressing made with yogurt, mustard and olive oil.

I understand that the process of planting, watering and caring for the vegetables requires a lot of work, so I definitely feel responsible for creating unique dishes that showcase the quality of the ingredients. Love you Lulu! Don't we make a great team?


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Vietnamese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Tau Hu Cuon La Nho) Recipe

This recipe is the result of one of my many experiments. The plants in our garden are starting to sprout beautifully. We have a small grape vine, so I used the leaves as wrappers for some Vietnamese vegetarian appetizers called tàu hũ cuốn lá nho (grape leaf wrapped tofu).

If you want to make the dish truly authentic, you should use betel leaves, but I find this version served on occasion. Betel leaves have a peppery, slightly bitter taste and I think the grape leaves taste a lot milder. The choice of the filling is really up to you. I filled them with bean thread noodles, fried jicama, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and fresh soy bean paste (packed with protein).

Either way, they make the perfect snack or appetizers. They're healthy, tasty and packed with good nutrition.


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Meat Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe) Recipe

I love all roll-shaped food. Like eggplant rollatini, egg rolls, sushi, I can’t get enough of dolmades. I‘ve posted a vegetarian version in the past, but this time around I wanted to make some with meat. I decided to go with ground lamb because the meat is so flavorful without a ton of fuss. I paired the lamb with round-grained rice and flavored the filling with dried mint, black currants and caramelized fennel bulb.

I cooked them in a lightly-oiled steamer insert for almost 2 hours and let them cool to room temperature. If you’re wondering whether my husband Lulu had to just look on longingly, don’t worry; I made a separate batch of vegetarian ones for him too!


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Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe) Recipe

Dolmades, also known as dolmas, are stuffed grape leaves. They're typically filled with round-grained rice, but for more flavor I added diced roasted bell peppers and tomato paste. You could also use grilled eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms or even tomatoes if they're in season.

Like many rolled dishes (eggplant rollatini, egg rolls, sushi), making dolmades is quite labor intensive, so get some help to go through the process. I served them as appetizers with my fusion raita dipping sauce on the side. If you're planning a party, this dish can be prepared two days in advance, stored in the refrigerator and served at room temperature.

sushi rice recipe with picture


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