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Grilled Stuffed Grape Leaves with
Goat Cheese and Black Pepper

You can find find pickled grape leaves in large grocery stores or Middle Eastern specialty shops or fresh leaves at any winery in October.

Ingredients

  • 12 bottled grape leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 pound soft, fresh goat cheese, preferably Coach Farm
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  1. Spread 12 grape leaves on the countertop.
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend the goat cheese and black pepper well mixed. Place a generous tablespoon of goat cheese in the center of each leaf. Fold in the sides of each leaf, then roll up burrito fashion and tie with kitchen string. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over each and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Heat the grill or light a charcoal fire.
  4. Place the chilled packets over the medium hot part of the grill and cook until the leaves are just starting to char all over, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place 3 packets on each plate, drizzle with a teaspoonful of balsamic vinegar and a dusting of fresh thyme, and serve immediately. (You may remove the strings before serving if you wish, but in Italy they'd probably leave them on.)

Serves 4.