stuffed grape leaves

I had stuffed grape leaves for the first time about a year ago near the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. It was late evening, and we ate them while sitting on a few rocks near the water, watching the rippling waves in front of us. Those pictured here aren’t quite as good as last summer’s stuffed leaves, which were from a local Lebanese restaurant. But, they’re definitely not bad either. Mine are a bit briny, a tad oily (both in a good way). And the slight sweetness balances the heat nicely. I altered Batmanglij’s recipe just slightly, stuffing the leaves with brown basmati rice, yellow split peas, pine nuts, raisins, and a bunch of fresh herbs.

grape leaves, rinsed and dried

I used grape leaves that had been soaked in brine. It took me about thirty minutes (no joke) to pull them from the jar. My parents grow a few grape vines behind their garage. And there is another vine growing around the swing set that my brothers and I used to play on as kids. I wonder if I might be able to use a few of these leaves in the future. To note, there is no wine-making in the works just yet; I am still attempting to persuade my parents to make some.

Just to update, our herbs are looking well. And we pulled our first head of garlic last night. Not bad. Not bad at all.

the first head of garlic

from left to right, chopped scallions, chives, mint, dill, and curly parsley

the swing set grape vine — a bit odd, but it seems to work

I have completed 24 of Batmanglij’s 268 recipes. Percentage complete: 8.96%