Grilled Grapevine Leaf Rolls stuffed with mushrooms, chestnuts + tofu….

I have a new obsession.

It's grilled grapevine leaves…stuffed with various fillings,
then quickly crisped on a hot grill.

Have you tried them?
I'm not talking about Dolmades…the classical Greek version
of rice-filled vine leaves which are served chilled.

Nope, I'm talking hot-off-the-barbecue morsels,
filled not with rice but
a mixture of sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic
and whatever else happens to be in season.

At the moment, that means fresh chestnuts,
especially the organic ones which our local fruit and veggie shop
has been stocking,
which are such a wonderful treat in autumn.

In summer, I was using asparagus in the stuffing,
which was equally delicious. 

We discovered the mushroom-stuffed grilled grapevine leaf parcels
at a favourite winery on the Mornington Peninsula,
Foxeys Hangout, where they were served on the back deck
overlooking rolling hills of gum trees and vineyards.

As long as you can get hold of the salted, preserved grapevine leaves,
(assuming you don't have a handy vineyard outside your back door)
then these are very easy to make and are perfect for either a light lunch
or as an appetiser with drinks. 

If you can get your hands on fresh grapevine leaves,
simply steam/boil them for a few minutes until soft,
then proceed as for the rest of the recipe.

When using asparagus in summer,
I added toasted almonds
and a squeeze of lemon juice.

The chestnuts go fabulously with tofu and mushrooms,
surprisingly, because it's a great contrast of textures,
but the tofu needs to be the firm variety.

12 preserved grapevine leaves
Splash virgin olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, chopped finely
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
10 chestnuts
150 gm firm tofu, cut into tiny dice

Soak the grapevine leaves in fresh water while you prepare the filling
(this removes the excess salt in the brine). 

Sauté the mushrooms, onion & garlic in olive oil for about 10 minutes,
stir through the chopped thyme,
then remove pan from the heat to cool slightly.

 Meanwhile, cut a cross in the base or side of each chestnut
and microwave them all together for 1 minute.
While just cool enough to handle,
remove the skins and shell and chop roughly.

Gently stir the chestnuts and tofu into the mushroom mix.

Drain the grapevine leaves and lay them out flat on a workbench.
Pile about a tablespoon of the filling in the centre,
and roll up gently.
(It doesn't matter which end of the leaf you start rolling,
both seem to work equally well on the grill.)

Grill on a hot bbq or grill plate for about 2 minutes on each side.
Serve hot.