Lentil & Yogurt Grape Leaf Pie is an unique and extraordinary dish based on the Grape Leaf, Herb & Yogurt Pie recipe in Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. My version is very similar to Yotam’s but I did change the filling slightly. The Grape Leaf Pie is reminiscent of the classic stuffed grapes but it gives you the added bonus of not having to roll and steam individual grape leaves. Instead the grape leaves are layered in a casserole dish, and stuffed with an vibrant filling of yogurt, fresh herbs, and lentils. The pie is then simply baked in the oven until slightly crisp on the outside yet delightfully tender on the inside and bursting with exotic Mediterranean flavors. I would recommend making the lentils ahead of time, and then the pie is relatively simple to prepare!
Lentil & Yogurt Grape Leaf Pie
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Grape Leaf Crust--
20-25 jarred grape leaves (about 1/2 of a 16 ounce jar), drained (you can find jars of grape leaves in major supermarkets near the jarred olives and capers)
Boiling water (3-4 cups, enough to cover grape leaves)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
3/4 cup cooked lentils (about 1/4 cup raw lentils)
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 cup gluten free chickpea flour (like the kind by Bob’s Red Mills)
Salt & Pepper
Optional--Additional Nonfat Greek Yogurt for Dipping
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set out a shallow casserole or pie dish, about 1.5 Quarts and 8 inches in diameter.
Preparing the Grape Leaves--
2. Unroll grape leaves and stack leaves in a large, shallow bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit 8-10 minutes or until tender (this is most likely more grapes leave than you will need but it’s useful to have extra in case some break or tear).
Mixing the Filling--
3. While the leaves are soaking, prepare the filling-- add cooked lentils, yogurt, spinach, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste), to a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
4. Fold in parsley, mint, tarragon, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until just incorporated.
5. Add chickpea flour to filling mixture and mix until a thick batter forms. Set filling aside.
Assembling the Pie--
6. Once the grape leaves have soaked, remove from water about 5 at a time, and place in the center of a clean tea towel. Dry leaves off gently, then place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat process, until all grape leaves are removed from water.
7. Using about 8-12 grape leaves (depending on size of leaves), line the bottom and edges of casserole dish with grape leaves, letting the sides of leaves hang off the edge. Overlap as necessary to form an even layer. Use a pastry brush to coat leaves with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
8. Scoop prepared filling into the bottom of casserole dish and use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread out into an even layer.
9. Fold over edges of grape leaves to form the top layer. Place a few additional grape leaves in the center, if necessary, to create a sealed top. (Don’t worry if you end up with extra grape leaves). Brush the top of pie with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly on top of pie, and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
12. Place pie in oven and bake 36-40 minutes, or until top leaves begin to crisp, and breadcrumbs are golden.
13. Remove pie from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
14. Once pie has rested, use a sharp knife to cut into 4 wedges and place on serving plates. Enjoy with a knife and fork or have a little fun and pick up with your hands. Serve with plain yogurt, for dipping, if desired.
Nutrition Information--approximately 225 calories per serving, not including any toppings (1/4 of the pie)