Grape vine leaves add a subtle flavour to dishes that are cooked on them – even wood-fired BBQs using grape vine “wood” adds a subtle taste and aroma to foods cooked over that fire.
It is a wonder that we don’t use vine leaves more for baking foods. As well as the flavour, the leaves themselves can be eaten if you have baked in a low heat (otherwise, they go a little crispy).
Elizabeth David in her beautiful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, gives a recipe for baking mushrooms with vine leaves. She first saw the recipe in Edmond Ridhardin’s 1913 book L’Art du Bien Manger. It is as good today as it was a century ago.
Similar recipes include Mushrooms in Terracotta, Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Grilled Mushroom Salad, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, French Slow Cooked Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce.
You might like to explore other Elizabeth David recipes, or browse Mushroom recipes. This dish could also be cooked in a covered BBQ – have a look at other BBQ dishes also. Or simply scroll through all of our Mid Spring recipes.
This photo shows button mushrooms being prepared for baking. The bottom photo shows sliced field mushrooms that have been baked and are ready for eating.
Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves
Salt, pepper, olive oil
garlic cloves, peeled
You can use fresh, frozen, brined, canned or otherwise preserved vine leaves for this dish. Fresh leaves should be blanched in boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds. Brined leaves should be rinsed.
Line a shallow earthenware pot with the leaves, keeping some for the top. Fill up with flat mushrooms, about 500g for 2 people. Scatter the chopped stalks on top, add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tuck in some garlic cloves around the mushrooms and pour in 4 Tblspns of good olive oil. The garlic cloves should not be omitted. They don’t necessarily have to be esten but are essential to the flavour.
Cover with vine leaves and the lid of the pot (or foil) and bake in a moderate oven for about an hour – less or more depending on the size and amount of the mushrooms.
Large, tough grapevine leaves can be used – they do their job well but are too stringy to eat. If you would like to eat the bottom leaves, use little tender ones (the top layer will have dried out). There is also a good deal of richly flavoured thin dark juice – make sure you have plenty of bread for soaking it up.
I like to add a little thyme or rosemary to the mushrooms as well.
Some very finely diced onion can be scattered around the mushrooms.
Add a little finely chopped parsley before serving.
Use sliced mushrooms – it works well with these also.