10 Recipes Using Grape Vine Leaves | Going Beyond Dolmades

Did you know that grape vine leaves are delicious? They have a green earthy flavour that is imparted to the ingredients that they are cooked with. The most commonly known dish is Dolmades (Dolmas) – vine leaves stuffed with a rice or burghul mixture which are slowly steamed.

However, vine leaves can be used to wrap food, line pies and, shredded, added to batters. It can be used as a flavouring by drying the leaves and grinding them to a powder.

Enjoy these recipes, they will expand the way that you use vine leaves.

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Sweet Potato Bread with Raisins and Walnuts

We don’t bake bread very much any more, mostly because we don’t eat very much of it. But this loaf is special. Full of walnuts and raisins, flavoured with sweet potato, it is a tempting loaf. We love it for breakfast, slightly toasted with real butter. Enjoy!

Similar recipes include Olive Oil Bread with Herbs, No Knead Focaccia, and a Tuscan Bread.

Or browse all of our Bread recipes, all of our Sweet Potato dishes, and our Late Winter collection of dishes.

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Udon and Shimeji Mushrooms with a Miso Mushroom Broth

Shimeji mushrooms are a popular mushroom in Japan with wonderful umami flavour. They grow at the bottom of Japanese oaks and red pines. When raw they have a somewhat bitter taste, but the bitterness disappears completely upon cooking. The cooked mushrooms have a pleasant, firm, slightly crunchy texture and a slightly nutty flavour. They love soups, stews and noodle dishes, and can be sauteed and slow roasted.

Similar dishes include Hot and Sour Soup, Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms, Mushrooms for Toast, and Caramelised King Oyster Mushrooms.

Browse all of our Mushroom recipes and all of our Noodle dishes. Our Japanese recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Locquats and Mango with Kaffir Leaf

In my new place there is a locquat tree, struggling a little as it is in the shade of a larger tree that is yet to be pruned. Last year there were no locquats, but this year there are some, enough for this small household. We do have to use a ladder to pick all but the lowest ones, but it is worth it. Tonight we mix them with mango for a wonderful Spring dessert.

We don’t have many desserts here, but some similar recipes include: An Autumn Fruit Salad with Apples, Pears and Pomegranate, Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce, and Peaches with Asian Flavours.

Check out our Locquat recipes and  Mango dishes. Our Desserts are here. Or explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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The Huge Vine Leaf Pakora | Angoor Patta Pakora

Fresh grape vine leaves are a rarity, unless you have a vine in your yard, or are surrounded by vineyards, or live in an Italian neighbourhood. If you can, grab some fresh ones (more than you need and freeze the rest). We have quite a number of recipes for them. If you can’t find them locally, you can purchase them preserved in water, salt and citric acid. They are available at most gourmet stores or Greek groceries.

In this recipe, the leaves are blanched, drained, finely shredded and folded into a spiced chickpea flour batter. The mixture is then poured into a sauté pan and shallow-fried into a large round cake that is golden brown, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is like making one pakora from the batter. You could of course, make individual pakoras the usual way.

This recipe is adapted from Lord Krishna’s Kitchen, a beautiful book full of Vedic cooking.

Similar recipes include Eggplant and Kale Pakora, Malabar Spinach Pakora, and Crispy Battered Onion Rings.

Browse all of our Vine Leaf recipes and all of our Pakoras. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Juice It! | Home Made Strawberry-Based Juices and Blueberry-Based Juices

Spring and Summer mean strawberries and blueberries, and often they are so cheap that it is worth grabbing several punnets when shopping.  Ok, blueberries are never cheap, but sometimes they are cheaper. Both make great icecreams, jams, frappe, lassis and smoothies. And they are wonderful juiced.

Enjoy the juice combinations below. Similar recipes include Zucchini Juice, Green Tea, Apple and Strawberry Juice, and Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger.

Browse all of our Juices and our Cooling Summer Drinks. Or browse all of our our Early Spring recipes.

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Dum Aloo | Kashmiri Potatoes in Spicy Yoghurt Sauce

There are two main versions of Aloo Dum – the Kashmiri version, and a Punjabi version which is generally less spicy than the Kashmiri version.

Dum style cooking is a slow cooking style which allows the ingredients to cook in their own juices and any added sauce. When the lid of the pot is sealed to prevent any steam from escaping it is called dum pukht – dum meaning breathe in and pukht meaning to cook. Dum lets the dish breathe in or steam slowly in its own juices, absorbing the delicate flavour of the spices and herbs. You can still see large cooking pots that are sealed with dough or cloth to trap the steam, cooking the vegetables or rice until tender. It is used most commonly when cooking biryani, and is a technique that is more than 400 years old.

Traditionally only a handful of Indian spices were used for flavour, but with time many more ingredients were added to suit different taste preferences. The dough seal is only opened once the dish was ready to serve to retain maximum flavour. A heavy bottomed clay pot is said to work the best as it releases heat slowly (maintaining the temperature inside) and prevents the fire from burning the bottom of the dish.

While Dum dishes were cooked over open fires with coals added to the top of the pot, today the oven provides a way of maintaining a low heat, and a pot can be sealed with kitchen foil if a dough seal is out of the question. On a stove top a heat diffuser can be used to keep the heat low so that longer cooking is possible. This allows greater infusion of the flavours into the potatoes.

As usual, my recipe for Aloo Dum is one of the simpler ones, home-cooking style, but with extraordinary flavours. You may have Greek or French clay pots, or lovely Indian terracotta ones. I lost my Indian pots when I shifted (they break easily) so sometimes I will use a Chinese clay pot for dishes such as this. The advantage is that it comes with a lid that can be easily sealed with foil, although the sealing isn’t strictly necessary these days for this dish.

Most of the times it is brought directly to the table and then the lid is opened. The result is dramatic, with the rich aroma that comes with the escaping steam is always considered an important part of the experience of a Dum cooked dish. They say that Dum cooking takes years to perfect. The good news is that every trial dish, while not perfect, is jolly jolly good. Just cook with deep respect for the ancient technique, with patience, with love, and with home-made garam masala.

This dish is a little different to those you might see elsewhere. It is Kashmiri rather than from other parts of India. It’s sauce is yoghurt based and does not include onions or tomatoes. Cashews are not added. It it is simply yoghurt and spices, very traditional. The potatoes are first deep fried. This gives them a lovely brown colour and also a crisp coating that prevents them falling apart when they are cooking in the yoghurt sauce.  The crispness is lost during cooking in the sauce and they become beautifully infused and soft. Before frying, the potatoes are pricked all over to allow the infusion of flavours.

Similar dishes include Aloo in Aloo, Potato with Onions, and Aloo Gobi.

Browse all of our Potato Curries and all of our Potato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Turnip Salad with Capers (Raw Turnip or Caramelised Turnips)

This delightfully simple salad can be made with either raw or caramelised turnips, for completely different tastes. Caramelising them removes the tang of the raw turnips, so it depends on your tastes and your mood for the day. I love to slice the turnips (or daikon, which can be used instead of turnips), but you can also shred or julienne the raw ones or cut the caramelised ones into thin wedges (about 0.5 cm) before cooking.

It is such a simple salad, it takes 30 seconds to get together once the turnips are prepared.

Similar dishes include Turnips in Yoghurt, Daikon Salad with Nigella Seed, and Daikon and Coconut Salad.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes, and all of our many many Salads. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Char Grilled Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and Pinenuts

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course, you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels. Then there are rice mixtures, baked in vine leaves, and, of course, feta or goat’s cheese wrapped in vine leaves.

This recipe also uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta too – which is mixed with herbs, pinenuts and preserved lemon, and wraps the mixture in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice. Grab your goat’s milk feta from your local Middle Eastern shop.

If you are using fresh vine leaves, the leaves from a fruiting grape vine are softer then those of an ornamental grape vine. I have used the ornamental vine leaves, and they are great, particularly for baking, but fruiting vines are better for stuffing and wrapping.

Do you have mixture left over? No worries, it is great on crusty bread or crackers.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Char Grilled Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and Pinenuts”

Grilled Goat’s Milk Feta Wrapped in Vine Leaves

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many Spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels.

This recipe uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta especially – and wraps it in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Left over filling is wonderful in toasted sandwiches with tomatoes, or spread on crusty bread or crackers. Top the spread with thin slices of cucumber or tomatoes.

Similar recipes include Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goats Cheese and Pine Nuts.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Grilled Goat’s Milk Feta Wrapped in Vine Leaves”