Summertime Grilling with Stevie and Salmon Grilled in Grape Leaves

This week Summertime Grilling with Stevie teams up with Laurie Constantino to make Salmon Grilled in Grape Leaves

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

In honor of the Alaska Greek Festival taking place this weekend, Summertime Grilling with Stevie teams up with Laurie Constantino to make Salmon Grilled in Grape Leaves.

Laurie will be giving free cooking demonstrations and selling her book at the festival taking place at the Greek Orthodox Church in Anchorage.

Come rain or shine there will be great food, dancing and live music. Admission and parking is free!

Salmon Grilled in Grape Leaves with Caper-Lemon Sauce

Serves 6

Recipe from Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska (2d Rev. Ed. 2011)

Just thinking about red mullet or sardines wrapped in grape leaves and grilled over a charcoal fire in a seaside Greek taverna makes my mouth water. Grilling improves and softens the flavor of grape leaves, and their smokiness marries well with any oily fish. In this recipe, salmon is cut into narrow strips to replicate the size of smaller Greek fish we can’t get in Alaska. When cooked in grape leaves, salmon stays moist and tender. Be sure to eat grape leaves and salmon together, and don’t stint on caper-lemon sauce. Sauce and salmon packets can be prepared early in the day, and grilled just before serving.

 

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup salted capers, or capers in brine
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

Fish:

  • 2 pounds skinless salmon fillets
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup salted capers, or capers in brine Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 24 grape leaves

 

Sauce: Carefully rinse all salt or brine off capers, and chop them roughly. Whisk olive oil slowly into lemon juice, and whisk in capers. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (be sure to taste for salt before adding if you used salted capers).

Fish: Wash salmon and dry it well. Using needle-nose pliers, remove as many pin-bones from salmon as possible. Cut fillets crosswise into 12 even strips, approximately 1 1/2” wide. Lightly season salmon on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and coat fish strip with olive oil.

Rinse grape leaves well, and cut off tough stems. Spread a grape leaf out flat, with shiny side down. Overlap this leaf with a second shiny-side-down grape leaf, with stem ends facing each other in center. Put a salmon strip on center of overlapping grape leaves. Fold sides of grape leaves towards center and over ends of fish strips, and then roll salmon up in grape leaves. Repeat until all strips have been rolled, and coat salmon-filled grape leaves with olive oil.

Grill salmon-filled grape leaves over a medium fire, or in a hot grill pan on top of stove, for 2–4 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook fish. Drizzle with sauce, and serve immediately.

NOTE: For a wonderful appetizer, cut salmon in smaller pieces and roll up in 1 grape leaf. Everyone loves these!

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Laurie Constantino is a food writer, cook, cooking teacher, cookbook author, and forager based in Anchorage, Alaska and Atsiki, Limnos, Greece. She writes about food, foraging, and her travels at LaurieConstantino.Com. Laurie brings a Mediterranean perspective, with its emphasis on fresh foods and quality ingredients, to everything she makes. For more of Laurie’s recipes and food tips, please visit her website.  Laurie’s cookbook, Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, is sold in Alaska bookstores or may be ordered here.