Stuffed Grapevine Leaves
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
For the filling
  • 1c Puy Lentils, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (optional: sprouted for 2-3 days), cooked until tender with a sheet of kombu
  • 1c Black Japonica Rice, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed and brought to a boil in ¾c water, turned off and let steam with lid on for 30 minutes.
  • 1c Walnuts, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 4c Shitake mushrooms
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 6 Green Onions
  • 1 large bunch of Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Lemons, zest only
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tsp Turmeric, dried (1.5 Tbsp if using fresh)
  • several grinds of Black Pepper (for better turmeric absorption)
  • Sea(weed) salt
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
For the rest:
  • 50 Grapevine Leaves (or a 500ml jar -rinse the leaves well, several times)
  • 1 lt of fresh tomato puree (puree fresh tomatoes in a blender until you have 1 lt worth) (or 1 x 670ml bottle of Passata, plus half of the bottle filled again with water)
  • 1 Lemon, sliced thinly (use the zested one)
  • 1 Lemon Juiced (use the other zested one)
For the Filling
  1. Cook the lentils in a pot of water with a sheet of kombu, until tender (10 minutes or so if sprouted, a little longer if just soaked), and then drain.
  2. Put the soaked, drained and rinsed rice in a pot with ¾c of water. Bring to a boil, put a lid on and turn off the heat. Leave for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grind the soaked and rinsed walnuts in a food processor until about the size of the lentils. Reserve the walnuts in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Use the same food processor (dirty!) to grind up the red onion, garlic and shitakes (stem and all) together until they form a bit of a paste.
  5. Saute this paste in a large frying pan on low heat with the coconut oil.
  6. Add the spices and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until it dries out a bit and tastes less raw (taste it).
  7. Turn off the heat and add the cooked lentils (and kombu!), rice and ground walnuts.
  8. Chop up the green onions and parsley and zest the lemons, and add them in too.
  9. Stir it around and adjust seasoning (s&p) until it tastes really good.
For the rest:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F
  2. Line the base of a (non-aluminum) casserole dish or dutch oven with grapevine leaves and a ladle of tomato puree (or a glug of passata)
  3. On a big stretch of clean counter top, lay out your grapevine leaves (in batches), membrane (bumpy) side up
  4. Using a spoon or your clean hands, put 1-2 Tbsp lumps at the base of each leaf. Try to squeeze it together so that it is tight and not too crumbly
  5. Fold the sides of the leaves in over-top of the filling and then roll the entire thing away from you, creating a tight little bundle.
  6. Fill your grapevine-lined dish with these bundles, seam side down, until you fill one layer and then start stacking the next layer on top
  7. When you are out of leaves or filling, pour the tomato puree (or passata) evenly over the top. If you're using passata, fill it back up halfway with water, put the lid on and shake it around, and pour this over the top too.
  8. Spread the lemon slices over the top evenly.
  9. Put the lid on, or foil (if the foil is touching the top, put a layer of parchment paper between the food and the foil to prevent leaching and sticking)
  10. Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes or until your house smells amazing.
  11. Pull out of the oven and sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the top and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  12. If it dried out a little too much (everyone's oven/dish is different), add a few splashes of water and it will come back to life. If it's a little bit soupy, leave it in the oven for 10 extra minutes with the lid off.
  13. Enjoy with something fresh like tabouli, or a cucumber salad.
Recipe by The Crushing Cancer Kitchen at