Grilled Mozzarella in Grape Leaves

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 1h 10m

Serves 4-6

Anywhere grapes grow and fresh mozzarella is made, one sees these rustic little bundles rushed to tables while the wrappers are still piping hot and the cheese is creamy soft. If you have a lemon or orange tree in your yard, tuck a leaf from it inside each bundle for additional flavor and aroma.

ingredients

  • 3 balls fresh mozzarella, 1/2 pound each, drained
  • 1 jar grape leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil for grilling
  • Tomato-basil sauce, warmed
  • Lemon wedges

Companion recipe: Tomato Basil Sauce

directions

Soak enough raffia or kitchen string (4 yards) or enough wooden toothpicks (20-25) to secure each mozzarella slice in a grape leaf for at least 30 minutes, then drain.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a ridged stovetop griddle until it is very hot. Meanwhile, cut the mozzarella into slices 1/2 inch thick. Lay them on paper towels to drain briefly.

Remove the grape leaves from the jar, leaving the brine in the jar, so any unused grape leaves can be returned to it. Rinse the leaves under running cold water and drain well. Using a small, sharp knife, trim away any long or tough stems from the leaves. Place 1 large leaf (or 2 overlapping smaller ones), shiny side down, on a work surface. Place 1 mozzarella slice in the center of the leaf and sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper. Bring up the sides of the leaf and wrap them around the cheese slice to enclose it completely. Tie the packets with raffia or kitchen string or secure with a toothpick. Repeat the process until all the mozzarella slices are wrapped.

Brush some vegetable oil onto the rack of the grill or the surface of the griddle. Place the mozzarella packets on the grill rack about 6 inches above the fire or on the griddle and cook, turning once, until there are grill marks on the outside and the cheese has softened, 3-5 minutes total on a charcoal grill or about 5 minutes on a stovetop griddle.

As soon as the cheese packets are softened and well marked from the grill, spoon some of the tomato-basil sauce onto a warmed platter or individual plates. Place the hot packets atop the sauce and garnish with the lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2215

nutrition information per serving

277 calories; 18g total fat; 20mg cholesterol; 2368mg sodium; 16g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 15g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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