Grilled Grape Leaves Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese
Makes 32 large stuffed grape leaves (more if leaves are small)
Grilled Grape Leaves Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese disappear the minute they come off the grill, despite containing hot melted cheese. (Or maybe because they contain hot melted cheese?) Rich with herbs and garlic, and occasionally anchovies, goat cheese stuffing pairs beautifully with smoky grilled grape leaves. The amount of garlic depends on how garlicky you like your food. Use scoop to make doling out the stuffing easier. If you’ve never made stuffed grape leaves before, this is the recipe to try. Because herbed cheese is relatively solid when compared to traditional stuffings, and because you don’t need to make room for the filling to expand, it’s quite easy to roll these leaves.
16 ounces fresh goat cheese
6 anchovy fillets, finely minced (optional)
3-6 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
3 Tbsp. minced fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
1 8-ounce jar grape leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Make Filling: Thoroughly mix all ingredients to make smooth paste, starting with 3 cloves garlic. If using anchovies, taste before adding any salt. When ingredients are all mixed, taste and add garlic, herbs, salt, or freshly ground black pepper.
Roll Grape Leaves: Rinse grape leaves in warm water, drain, and cut stems off flush with leaves. Spread out leaves on flat surface, rough side up and shiny side down.
Place approximately 1 tablespoon filling near stem end of each leaf (exact amount of filling depends on size of leaf — small leaves need less filling).
Fold bottom of grape leaf up over filling.
Fold in sides.
Roll leaf up so filling is fully encased.
When done, the filled leaf should be tight around the filling.
Place filled leaves on baking sheet or tray. Drizzle with olive oil, turning stuffed leaves to make sure they’re thoroughly coated.
Grill and Serve: Grill goat-cheese-filled grape leaves over medium fire, or in hot grill pan on top of stove, for 1-2 minutes per side or until grape leaves are lightly charred. Let rest five minutes before serving, or warn guests about the dangers of hot, melted cheese.