Recipe courtesy of David Spooner

Napa Valley Stuffed Grape Leaves with Six Pepper SPAM(r), Fruit Relish and Pine Nuts

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

One 12-ounce can SPAM(r)

1 teaspoon Six Pepper Spice, or mixed color peppercorns, plus more to taste

Fruit Relish, recipe follows

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 jar grape leaves

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup strawberries, cleaned and hulled

1/4 cup fresh figs, cleaned and stemmed

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste

Yogurt dipping sauce, if desired

Fruit Relish:

1/4 cup dried mango, diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup dried papaya, diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup dried apple, diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup dried figs, diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup sugar, plus more to taste

1/4 cup vinegar, plus more to taste

Directions

  1. Place the SPAM(r) in a meat grinder, and grind until it reaches the consistency of ground sausage.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the meat and the Six Pepper Spice to the skillet, and cook until desired degree of doneness. Add more pepper, as desired. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the meat with the cooled Fruit Relish. Add the pine nuts, and stir until just combined.
  4. Spread 1 grape leaf out on flat surface, vein side up. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on each leaf, and roll it up like a small burrito or a 3-inch cigar. Repeat with remaining grape leaves.
  5. Place the stuffed grape leaves in a steamer, and steam for 3 to 5 minutes, or until completely heated through.
  6. Meanwhile, add the yogurt, strawberries, figs, and honey to a blender or food processor. Blend until combined, adding more honey to taste, as desired. Set aside.
  7. Serve the steamed grapes leaves with the yogurt dipping sauce, if desired.

Fruit Relish:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small non-reactive saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water, and cook over medium heat until fruit softens. Taste for seasoning, and add more vinegar, sugar, or water, as necessary. The relish should be dry. Remove from heat and let cool.

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