The idea for this recipe came to me while lunching by my mother in law one Saturday afternoon. She was serving a dairy lunch with many delicious salads, one of which was a quinoa salad with artichokes, mint, and corn. As I was eating the quinoa salad I couldn’t help but notice how familiar it tasted, then an idea occurred to me- This quinoa salad tastes like something I would find in a stuffed grape leaf! After tasting the quinoa the ideas just flew in my head, why not stuff grape leaves with something other than rice!
My method of no measurements is supposed to inspire the cook to toss out the recipe book and think on your own! What kind of mixture would you use to stuff a grape leaf?
- Grape leaves
- Corn on the cob or canned cor
- Canned artichokes or artichoke tapenade
- Fresh mint leaves
- Lemon juice
- Black currents
- Fresh mint
- Kalamata olives
- Lemon juice
- Fresh basil
How to cook the Quinoa:
Since you are cooking the grape leaf after you stuff it, cook the quinoa for half the time. For every one-cup of quinoa use double the amount of water. Cover the pot and cook the quinoa on a high flame for about 6 minutes. Drain the quinoa in a mesh strainer and add to a bowl. Mix with a little oil and then add your other ingredients, here are some of my ideas of what you can add to the quinoa.
Note: Measurements of each ingredient vary depending on how much quinoa you use.
3 filling ideas
Quinoa option #1
In a bowl add the semi cooked quinoa, canned or fresh corn off the cob, chop a handful of mint, a few spoons of artichoke tapenade or canned artichokes (finely chop them) the juice of one lemon, a squirt of honey, and salt to taste.
Quinoa option #2
In a bowl add the cooked quinoa, a handful of black currents, a handful of fresh chopped mint, a squirt of honey and salt to taste.
Quinoa option #3
In a bowl add the cooked quinoa, a handful of chopped kalamata olives, one cucumber- small dice, a few leaves of fresh basil- finely chopped, the juice and zest from one lemon, a squirt of honey, and salt to taste.
Rolling the grape leaves: Step By Step
How to cook the grape leaves:
Once the grape leaves are stuffed place them in a large pot, they should be fitted in there pretty tightly.
Fill up the pot (up until you cover the grape leaves) with water, and some lemon juice, season with sugar, and some fresh garlic.
Place a plate on top of the grape leaves so that it will keep them together and they wont unravel while cooking.
Simmer on a low flame, covered for about an hour.
Serve room temperature or cold.