basting grilled grape leaves

Grilled Stuffed Grape Leaves

Incorporating a unique appetizer like Grilled Stuffed Grape Leaves at your next cookout will quickly turn you into the grill master of the group.

This dish was written for SABER Grills by Chef Chris Koetke of Let’s Dish.

Grape leaves

Grape leaves are perfect for creating dishes with Mediterranean flavor.

Culinary creations from around the world use many different kinds of leaves to wrap food. From banana and plantain leaves to bamboo and lotus leaves, there’s no shortage of different types you can try.

But, what’s the purpose? Not only do leaves protect the food you’re cooking from direct flame, but they allow you to infuse a subtle flavor into your dish as the juices steep inside.

Banana leaves are a sturdy leave to use as a wrap, whereas grape leaves are more fragile and smaller than banana leaves. So you’ll make smaller wraps. But, smaller in size does not mean the taste is lacking.

Grape leaves are culinary sponges, absorbing the flavors of whatever they’re cooked with. They also need to be grilled on low heat, so that the leaves don’t dry out and become tough.

Basting grape leaves on grill

Choose grape leaves that are light green and tender. You want to choose leaves that show new growth at the top of the plant. According to Nancy Gaifyllia with The Spruce, you want to count down about three leaves from the new grow and pick the next two to three leaves. Then move to the next stem to pick a few more leaves.

You can use the leaves from any type of grapes, but the Sultana grape plants have hardier and more flexible leaves which are great for wrapping.

When you’re ready to grill grape leaves, place the leaves with the vein side up with the tip facing away from you. Fill them with about a tablespoon of the filling. Fold your leaf and grill!

A helpful tip is to baste them throughout the grilling process to keep them moist and tender.

You can roll them around a bit on the grill—but, remember to keep the grill closed as much as possible to allow them to heat evenly.

Incorporating grilled grape leaves as an appetizer will quickly turn you into the grill master of the group.

Wrapped food on the grill - grape leaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, diced
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, minced
  • 1 cup chewy bread (like Artisan or sourdough), diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaf
  • 3/4 cup low-fat mozzarella, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 30 grape leaves (typically sold in jars)
  • Basting liquid: 2 Tablespoons olive oil and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice mixed together.

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine tomatoes, red peppers, feta, olives, green onion, diced bread, oregano, mozzarella, olive oil and lemon juice.
  • To form the individual stuffed grape leaves: Place a flattened leaf, vein side up, on a cutting board with the tip facing away from you. Place a couple of tablespoons of the filling in the center of the leaf.
  • Fold bottom of leaf over filling, then fold in sides of leaf. Roll the leaf into a cylinder, rolling it firmly so as to make it very tight.
  • Place the stuffed grape leaves on a low-heated grill. Roll them on the grill every couple of minutes so that all sides of the cylinder are heated. At the same time, baste the grape leaves often with the basting liquid. In between, keep the grill lid closed.
  • After approximately 10 minutes, the grape leaves should be well-heated through. Remove from grill and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

stuffed grilled grape leaves

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