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Grilled Feta Wrapped in Grape Leaves

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This appetizer is the perfect marriage of simplicity and flavor. The wrapped feta comes together so easily, and quickly, and couldn’t be more flavorful or impressive to present. The charred, crispy grape leaves are the perfect foil for the warm and tender feta.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Whisk the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, za’atar and Aleppo pepper in a shallow bowl or small baking dish. Add the feta and spoon the oil over the top. Set aside to marinate 1 hour.
  2. While the cheese marinates, place the grape leaves in a bowl of room-temperature water and let soak.
  3. Line a small baking sheet with paper towels. Drain the grape leaves and lay in a single layer on the towels; pat very dry. On a clean surface, overlap the grape leaves slightly to form a square. Place the block of feta in the center (reserve the flavored oil), then fold the grape leaves to cover the cheese like a present.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium high and prepare for indirect grilling: On a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side; on a gas grill, turn off half the burners. Toast the pita over direct heat, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Brush the outside of the wrapped feta with some of the reserved oil and place on the cooler side of the grill (indirect heat). Cook until the grape leaves are crisp and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and move to direct heat; grill until lightly charred on the second side and the cheese is warmed through, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a board or platter and serve with the pita, olives, walnuts and/or apricots, plus any remaining flavored oil.