Yogurt and Herb Pies Wrapped in Grape Leaves

In this unusual recipe from northern Greece, a cornmeal-thickened yogurt is flavored with scallions and herbs, and baked or fried wrapped in tangy grape leaves; thus becoming a sophisticated “pie” with complex aroma and unexpected flavor.


In an earlier version, I made a large pie that I baked in the oven. It was good, but difficult to divide into portions. Paula Wolfert suggested small fried “packets,” which worked much better. Now I propose something in between: individual little pies, baked in tartlet pans or shallow muffin tins. When finished under the broiler, the grape leaves caramelize beautifully! Serve with risotto or any grain pilaf.



My friend, David Tanis has created and published in the New York Times his own brilliant version of the recipe using chard leaves instead of the grape leaves.



Serves 6


1  1/2 pounds (680 g) thick Greek-style yogurt



1/3 cup (50 g) cornmeal



2/3 cup (65 g) finely chopped scallions



2/3 cup (40 g) finely chopped dill



2/3 cup (40 g) finely chopped fresh mint leaves



1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño or other fresh chili, or black pepper, to taste






15 to 20 vine leaves, fresh or frozen



About 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil, as needed




Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190°C).



In a bowl, combine the yogurt and the cornmeal; add the scallions, herbs, salt, and pepper and stir well.


Oil six 4-inch (10-cm) mini tartlet pans or shallow muffin tins. Line each pan or tin with 1 large or 2 small grape leaves, making sure they amply cover the bottom and sides. Brush liberally with olive oil and divide the yogurt mixture among the pans. Top each with a leaf, tucking the edges inside to make a neat package, and brush liberally with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.



Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and invert the pans onto it. Place the pies under the broiler for a few seconds to caramelize the leaves.



Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.






One thought on “Yogurt and Herb Pies Wrapped in Grape Leaves

  1. Looks absolutely delicious and different!
    I am going to make this recipe myself.
    Looking forward to seeing you all in August for a short visit

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