Stuffed Vine Leaves with Mint Cashew Aioli

Stuffed Vine Leaves with Mint Cashew Aioli

I created these stuffed vine leaves after tasting the cooked version.  Seeing as anything cooked can be made better raw, I just had to come up with this alternative, which I have to say really fills a gap.

This recipe will make 16+ rolls, depending on the size of your vine leaves and how much mixture you put in. Eating 2 is usually enough for me in one sitting!

I have found a sushi rolling mat (pictured) very useful in rolling nice tight leaves, and as for the leaves themselves …

You can pickle your own, which involves finding fresh ones — I found some organic ones on eBay!

You’ll then need to soak them in salt water and lemon juice. I’ve found at least 48 hours is needed to get them to turn a slightly darker green and become more pliable.

You also have the option of buying already pickled ones in a jar. It depends how you feel about this, but you should look for ones that have only been pickled with water, salt and lemon juice (citric acid).

Obviously the lemon juice and salt are not going to be as pure as the kind you’d use yourself, but it makes the whole recipe a lot more user-friendly. You have a choice!

Makes 16+ stuffed vine leaves

For the vine leaves

  • 3 cups cauliflower or parsnip
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 spring onions (green onions)
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2+ hours, then chopped into thin strips
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh mint, minced
  • 1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped
  • Pickled vine leaves
  1. Pulse the cauliflower/parsnip in a food processor until it has a rice-like consistency. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a high-power blender, blend the olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest, cinnamon, lemon juice, sea salt and spring onions until creamy.
  3. Add this mixture to the rice and mix well.
  4. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, mint and raisins to the mixture and mix again.
  5. Now take one vine leaf at a time and place it stem-side up on a chopping board or sushi rolling mat. Place between 1 and 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the leaf, depending on the size of the leaf.
  6. Roll up the leaf from the bottom first and tuck in the side bits after the first roll. I find it helps to brush olive oil on to the leaf at this point to help it stick.
  7. Once the sides are in, finish rolling upwards to make a neat little package. You may not get this first time, but keep practicing and have fun with it.
  8. Continue until all the mixture is used.

 

 For the mint cashew aioli

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed mint
  1.  Place all ingredients except the mint in a high-power blender and blend until creamy.
  2. Add the mint to the blender and pulse in so to leave mint visible in the aioli.
  3. Serve with stuffed vine leaves.

j

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11 Comments

  1. Melissa
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell,
    Didn’t have vine leaves on hand – so i’ll 2nd that notion of a recipe for pickling vine leaves? – still turned out fabulous!! love all your sauces, this cashew aioli was delicious!! nice touch with the sweetness of the raisins – really these are way better than the traditional ones – which i like but i don’t need the bulky heaviness of the rice nor the preservatives of store bought and bottled vine leaves … so i tried this by wrapping it up in nori sheets – worked fine and gave my body an iodine boost.
    thanks! good friday evening – end of the week easy as peas supper dish !!

  2. Wendissa
    Reply
    Posted

    HI Russell. These were amazing! My vine-leaves weren’t great, they didn’t soften enough (maybe the liquid I soaked them in was too dilute?) but I’ll try again, or even use lettuce leaves.

  3. Sacha
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell, I realize this is an old post but I hope you will read this! I just discovered your site and all your scrumptious looking recipes are so tempting and inspiring I can’t wait to try them!! I have my own vines so as many grape leaves as I want and I was just wondering if you had a recipe for doing my own pickling of them and also how long will they keep?? Through the winter in the fridge?? If you can give me any idea for quantities of lemon juice, salt and water that would be a tremendous help! Thank you so much for your wonderful work and inspiration!
    Sacha

  4. Samantha Cook
    Reply
    Posted

    Hi Russell,

    I am trying to make this receipe today and I have soaked the vine leaves but they are turning brown………….is this a bad thing?? Maybe I did not use enough salt??? or maybe these are bad leaves?? I am thinking it is and not to use them. What are your thoughts on this?? You also mentioned you bought some vine leaves on ebay. I was wondering if you could let me know what the link was.

    Thanks for any help you could provide…………these look yummy and I really wanted to try them!!

    Sam Cook

  5. liz
    Reply
    Posted

    HI Russell,

    Just wanted to let you know your blog is one of the best I’ve seen yet. I’ve just started raw for the last 3 months and am progressively learning how to cook and prepare raw foods for myself. Your recipes are GREAT! They’re easy to follow and the pictures alone make my mouth water. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes, and other very useful info on raw living.

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