Mushroom-stuffed vine leaves with herbs

Mushroom-stuffed vine leaves with herbs

Matt Harvey

A vegetarian version of a classic Lebanese mezze dish.


Quantity Ingredient
30 vine leaves
80ml olive oil
6 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
25g porcini mushrooms, soaked in 250 ml water
550g portobello mushrooms, finely diced
220g short-grain rice
1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
40g unsalted pistachio nuts, blanched, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped pepper
Mint labneh

Cooking stock

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon ground sumac
4 whole garlic cloves


  1. If you are using preserved vine leaves, soak them well, then rinse and pat them dry. Fresh vine leaves should be blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds and then refreshed in cold water.
  2. To prepare the filling, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and sauté the shallots, garlic, thyme and oregano until they soften, but don’t colour
  3. Strain the porcini mushrooms and finely dice them, reserving the soaking liquid to add to the cooking stock. Add them to the pan with the diced portobello mushrooms and cook them slowly until any liquid is absorbed and you are left with a dry mushroom sludge. Tip into a mixing bowl and leave to cool. Add the rice, tomato, pistachio nuts and parsley. Season lightly with pepper and mix everything together well.
  4. Arrange the vine leaves on the work surface, vein side up, and slice out the stems. Place a spoonful of the filling across the base of the leaf. Roll the leaf over once, fold the sides in and then continue to roll it into a neat sausage shape. The dolmades should be around the size of your little finger – don’t roll them too tightly or they will burst during the cooking. Continue stuffing and rolling until you run out of filling or vine leaves.
  5. Place the vine leaves in the bottom of a heavy-based casserole dish, packing them in tightly. Sprinkle with sumac and tuck the garlic cloves in among them. You’ll probably end up with 3–4 layers. Pour in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and enough water to just cover the vine leaves. Lay a plate over them, to keep them submerged in the liquid. Slowly bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for an hour.
  6. The vine leaves can be eaten hot or cold, but they are best served at room temperature. Arrange them in a pile on a serving dish and serve with plenty of Mint Labneh.
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