Raisin, Walnut and Sardine-Stuffed Grape Leaves


  • 5 or 6 grape leaves in water
  • 1 or 2 medium-large pieces of sardines in water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. crushed walnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 cup water, ½ cup reserved
  • ¼ cup long-grain rice


  1. In a medium bowl, soak the grape leaves in cold water. Let rest.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice, seasonings, walnuts and sardines. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO on medium high and add the onions. Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes till brown.
  4. Add the rice mixture to the skillet and sauté for an additional 2 or 3 minutes. Lower to medium-low heat.
  5. Add the water and let cook till water boils away. Stir occasionally for about 12 or 15 minutes.
  6. When rice is cooked, remove from heat and let cool. (Can be prepared 1 or 2 days before needed.)
  How to roll and make the grape leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Take one leaf from cold water and lay it shiny side down on a cutting board or work surface.
  3. Place 2 teaspoons of cooled rice mixture at the base of the grape leave closest to you.
  4. Next, fold the sides of the grape leaves a quarter of the way to the middle and start to roll up away from you.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the remaining leaves.
  6. Place (packed tightly) in a baking pan.
  7. Cover with half of reserved water and cover with foil tightly.
  8. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  9. Serve on dish with kalamata olives and lemons.
NOTE: Stuffed leaves can be stored in fridge just covered with olive oil to preserve them for up to a week after production.