Stuffed Grape Leaves
For your greek food cravings. These can be stuffed with anything you want, I chose brazil nuts to mimic the texture of rice and mushrooms to help the consistency.
15 fresh grape leaves, soaked
1 cup brazil nuts, soaked
¾ cup mushrooms of choice, chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Ume plum vinagre
¾ cup white wine vinagre
1 dash hot sauce, optional
3 tablespoon cold pressed olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup cold pressed olive oil
1 cup red wine vinagre, or vinagre of choice
First, soak the grape leaves and the brazil nuts over night or up to 24 hours. You want to make sure the grape leaves are as soft and pliable as possible. You can buy grape leaves in a bottle but they are steamed before they bottle them and soaked in brine so the best option is to see if the person who sells grapes at your farmer’s market can get you some fresh ones. I have not found a place to order fresh online.
In a food processor, pulse the brazil nuts until they achieve a fine texture similar to rice. Place in a bowl. Roughly pulse or chop the mushrooms as well and add them to the nuts. Add the onion powder, vinagres and hot sauce if using. Mix well and add in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until you get a nice moist but sticky consistancy. You could add some fresh garlic in here, but I find it makes it too spicy. So, you could add in garlic powder too if you prefer.
Place a soaked grape leave flat on your surface. Cut the stem off, if any. Place a tablespoon or two of the mixture in the center of the leaf, horizontally. Fold up the bottom two leaf extensions to cover the mixture. Then fold down the upper two leaf extensions. Finally, roll towards the top of the leaf until the top leaf extension is folded over the roll. Seal with a bit of oil on your finger. Finish with the grape leaves until all the mixture is gone. Place grape leaves in a shallow dish.
Next, combine the remaining olive oil, vinagre of your choice (I think red wine works best) and lemon juice. Pour over the grape leaves and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Now, you can eat them as is, or you can dehydrate them for about 6 hours at about 110 until they crisp a little on the edges and become tighter at the seal. If you choose to dehydrate, remove when they are done and place back in the marinade.
You may serve them warm, cold, or at room temperature. Typically, they are served at room temperature. Serve with Greek Tzasiki Sauce, on my page, or just dip them in vinagre, hummus, whatever you want, or have them plain!