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Labneh Stuffed Grape Leaves Preserved in Oil

Labneh Stuffed Grape Leaves Preserved in Oil

One of the simple and delicious things you can do with your grape leaves is to stuff them with goat cheese labneh or the spreadable goat cheese (chèvre). Fill a jar with these labneh stuffed grape leaves  and they can last throughout a year or even more, they get even better with time. Olive oil has been used for centuries to preserve food and help food last longer. It is a natural preserver and no need to refrigerate.  No cooking is involved, not even blanching the vine leaves., pick the tender leaves, stuff with with goat labneh, steep with olive oil and there you go, an elegant newborn dish to be added   to the mezze family!! The preserving method will quickly become a favorite!!

Labneh Stuffed Grape Leaves Preserved in Oil

The preserved grape leaves are made of freshly picked tender grape leaves, so if you are lucky enough to have a grape vine in your backyard then this recipe is for you –  or if you have a neighbor or someone’s else vine to pick from; don’t use the ones in brine! Select whole tender leaves free of damage.

Labneh Stuffed Grape Leaves Preserved in Oil

My mother in law, in southern Lebanon, had a beautiful grape vine in her backyard lushing with green leaves that provided drama and privacy, like lots of homes in villages and mountains of Lebanon, people plant grape vines around their homes to provide cooling shades in the heat of summer and to cultivate the leaves and the fruits of the vine.

Labneh Stuffed Grape Leaves Preserved in Oil

- The most important part of the recipe is to select only the tender grape leaves; don’t be tempted to use the ones in brine they will negatively affect the flavor.
- Make sure the olive oil completely covers the grape leaves.
- Goat cheese labneh is available readymade in tubs or packs in store shops in Lebanon   It has a particular tangy flavor.  The best substitute is the spreadable goat cheese chèvre.
- This is more a technique than a recipe; rolling grape leaves may need some practice at the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, things will be so easy!!
- Store the jar in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight; don’t store it right next to the stove.  -You may like to store it in the fridge, that would still be fine, though the oil in the jar will turn cloudy a bit, but with a few minutes out of the fridge the oil will come back to its nature.
- Consume after 3 weeks, the olive oil will temper the grape leaves, making them more tender and the flavors will marry beautifully together.
- It is a crime to waste the leftover olive oil, the flavored grape leaf oil adds a pleasant dimension to dressings, olives, meat rubs, chicken and fish recipes!!
- This even make a perfect gourmet classy gift to people you care about. Make them in advance, the longer they sit the better the result.


Ingredients:

A stack of fresh grape leaves, use the tender ones, about 200 g/ 7 oz.
500 g. / 1 lb. 2 oz goat labneh or the spreadable goat cheese (chèvre)
A good bottle of extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Wash the grape leaves in cold water; drain and pat dry.
2. Spread the grape leaves on a flat surface with the veiny side up.
3. Using a sharp knife trim the stem.
4. Place a spoonful of the goat labneh close to the bottom of the leaf and line it up horizontally.  Fold both sides and roll from bottom to top.
5. Neatly stack the stuffed grape leaves in a strelized jar. Be sure that the seam of the leaves is facing downwards.
6. Cover with olive oil to the top and seal.
7. Consume after 3 weeks, the olive oil will temper the grape leaves, making them more tender and the flavors will marry beautifully together.

Labneh Stuffed Grape Leaves Preserved in Oil

- Grape leaves are a rich source of fiber and provide a particularly rich source of vitamin A and K. Grape leaves also provide you with calcium and iron. Here is an interesting article  written by “Gianina G. Knoth”, about the health benefits of grape leaves.
- You have heard about how healthy a Mediterranean diet is, and you know that the key is the olive oil; in the ancient world it was called “liquid gold” Here is an article written by  “Joe Leech”, so worth reading, about the health benefits of olive oil.

Recipe By Hadias Cuisine

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