6 to 8 grape leaves (sold in a jar), drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 3/4-to-1-pound round piece goat cheese, such as bucheron, at room temperature (or 2 smaller pieces, stacked)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Crusty bread, for serving
Preheat a grill to medium high. Wrap the grape leaves around the cheese to cover it completely; tie with kitchen twine.
Brush the wrapped cheese with olive oil and grill, turning once, until the leaves begin to char and the cheese is soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, the rosemary, red pepper flakes and salt to taste in a bowl.
Food Network Magazine, June 2010
This recipe absolutely made my Sunday night. This is so incredibly simple, but packs enough flavor that you’ll be thinking about those last few bites for days. Tom and I made this as an appetizer for our Shrimp and Charred Lemon and Zucchini dinner. There is nothing better than sitting out on a hot summer night, drinking chilled white wine, playing dominoes and eating this. If you’re free tonight…
My food pyramid already has a solid base of cheese, beer and chocolate. Slightly melted, warm goat cheese is downright dangerous. Add a little olive oil, rosemary and crushed red pepper and I’m a goner. Plus, its always an extra bonus when I find new ways to use my 5+ year-old rosemary plant in new and easy ways (hands-down, the easiest herb to grow). Goat cheese is the perfect choice for its sweet, tart flavor and it maintains its shape during grilling better than most alternatives might. The rosemary adds the perfect earthy spice which complements the slight acidity of the brined grape-leaves. Crushed red pepper for a bit of spice and you have created the perfect starter. Perfect for date nights or hosting friends. Serve with sourdough or nice french bread.