Caprino ai Ferri Avvolto nella Foglia di Vite

Grilled Goat Cheese in Vine Leaves

When I cook a full meal on the charcoal grill, goat cheese in a vine leaf wrapper is one of my customary appetizers. The zestful fragrance of the leaf diverts some of the cheese’s sharpness, making it taste sweeter. No other seasoning is required, except for olive oil and black pepper. Grilling over coals is the most desirable way of doing this recipe, but one can manage satisfactorily with an indoor broiler.

Ingredients

  • 6 vine leaves, either fresh or packed in brine, 6 to 7 inches broad, if possible
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound goat cheese
  • Black pepper in a grinder

Method

  1. If using fresh vine leaves, wash them thoroughly, trim the stems down to 1 inch in length, then place them in a bowl of cold water to soak for at least 30 minutes. If using leaves packed in brine, rinse them well, then pat thoroughly dry.
  2. Light the coals or turn on the broiler.
  3. Choose a plate a little bit larger than a vine leaf and pour the olive oil onto it.
  4. When the fresh leaves have soaked the required amount of time, drain them and pat them thoroughly dry with kitchen towels. If using brine-packed leaves, they are ready for the next step if you have rinsed and dried them.
  5. Place a leaf on the plate with the oil, turning it over once or twice so that it is well coated.
  6. Divide the cheese into 6 equal portions. Turn the vine leaf so that its duller, rougher side faces up, because it is the side that retains more oil. In the center of it place one of the portions of cheese, sprinkling over it a generous grinding of pepper.
  7. Fold the sides of the leaf toward the center and over each other. Over them fold first the stem end and then the bottom end of the leaf. Fasten securely with a toothpick.
  8. When all the leaves have been stuffed, place them on the hot grill with the side pierced by the toothpick facing down. If using an adjustable charcoal grill, try to keep the wrappers about 8 to 9 inches from the fire.
  9. When the leaves begin to blacken and become charred in spots, turn them over on the other side until it also becomes dark. Remove from the grill then, and serve immediately.

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