How to Cook with Grape Leaves

Tangy, supple grape leaves make these recipes shine.

Zeytinyagil Yaprak Sarmasi
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Jillian Knox

It's harvest time for vineyards across the country. Celebrate the promise of great wines by using the vine's lesser-loved by-product: grape leaves, which are deliciously tangy and tender when brined. Here are several of our favorite recipes that feature grape leaves.

Zeytinyağli Yaprak Sarmasi (Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves)

From the Turkish region of Mugla, the tangy, tender vegetarian rice-and-herb-stuffed grape leaves pictured above can be made a day ahead, making them a great appetizer for easy entertaining. The brightness of the brined grape leaves is balanced by the rice filling, which is seasoned with fresh parsley and dill and slightly sweet cooked onions.

Spinach-and-Grape Leaf Pie

Chef Alex Raij made this big, impressive pie, which she calls pastel de parra, to snack on throughout the weekend; a big slice is also satisfying as a meal.

Spinach-and-Grape-Leaf Pie
© Antonis Achilleos

Halibut Roasted in Grape Leaves with Lemon Vinaigrette

Here, delicate halibut fillets are wrapped in brined grape leaf parcels, which subtly perfume the fish and keep the flesh moist on the grill. A punchy lemon vinaigrette flavored with Dijon and fresh thyme provides acidity and richness.

Halibut Roasted in Grape Leaves with Lemon Vinaigrette
© Tina Rupp

Grilled Beef Rolls

Contributed by Seattle chefs Eric and Sophie Banh, these rolls are filled with thinly sliced and marinated flank steak, slices of garlic, jicama matchsticks, and basil leaves. The rolls are then skewered together and grilled. Typically, Eric and Sophie follow Vietnamese tradition and use la lot leaves to make these rolls (la lot leaves are somewhat similar to shiso). If you have trouble sourcing la lot, grape leaves make an excellent replacement.

Grilled Beef Rolls
© Stephanie Foley
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