Meatless Monday – Stuffed Grape Leaves with Dried Apricots

Do you ever get excited about little things? I mean ordinary, boring, totally unexciting things. Like, a table for example.  And I’m not talking about a beautiful, brand new designer table from a high-end furniture store. Nope. I’m talking about a plain, almost-falling-apart table that someone left outside for the garbage truck to pick up. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Well, that was me a couple of weeks ago.

One of my neighbors had left a table out after a garage sale, and it caught my eye right away. I waited for days to see if anyone would take it, but it stayed there, untouched. Just another piece of junk to get rid of.

But here’s the thing, what other people saw as a piece of useless wood with half bent legs, in my eyes was the perfect set up for my pictures.

It’s not like I’m a perfectionist, by any means. But when it comes to photography, I somehow transform into this meticulous, nit-picking almost obsessive person with crazy high standards. So I had to have this table. I just had to.

I kept bugging my husband for days until he finally agreed to ask the neighbor if it would be ok to take it, and he brought it home for me. And it made me ridiculously happy.

As I was trying to explain to him why that table was so important, it dawned on me: that’s how you know you have a true passion for something. When you love what you do, you automatically link it to everything you see, to how you think and perceive what’s around you. And that’s what brings excitement to even the most insignificant things.

Have a great week everyone!

Vicky

 

Meatless Monday - Stuffed Grape Leaves with Dried Apricots
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Dried Apricots. Sweet, sour, deliciously unexpected...
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Kosher / Middle Eastern
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1-14 ounce can store bought stuffed grape leaves
  • 3 tbs balsamic vinegar or 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (omit if using pomegranate molasses)
Instructions
  1. In a medium size pan caramelize tomato paste with olive oil for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, until the tomato reaches a rich dark red color
  2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of caramelized tomato paste into a heat proof cup. Add salt and ½ cup of boiling water and dissolve it until it creates a sauce. Save the rest of the caramelized tomato paste for future use (you can freeze it in a resealable freezer bag)
  3. Preheat oven to 400F
  4. Arrange grape leaves in a round 7 or 8-inch oven proof casserole or terra cotta dish. Add tomato paste sauce
  5. Place dried apricots on top and pour a cup of hot water over them
  6. Bake uncovered at 400F for 20 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for another 20 minutes
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F
  8. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (if using pomegranate molasses, skip this step and pour directly over the apricots)
  9. Pour on top of apricots, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour
  10. ENJOY! From May I Have that Recipe

 

 

 

Caramelized tomato paste gives this dish a rich, tangy flavor
Dried apricots add sweetness and a slightly chewy texture to this super simple dish

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