Feb 23, 2017  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Go North,

In the JNF Kitchen: Stuffed grape leaves and zucchinis

This recipe for stuffed grape leaves and zucchinis, a classic Galilean dish, is brought to us by Paul Nirens of Galileat, which organizes unique cooking and hospitality experiences.Four or five variations of this recipe, reflecting differences between regions and home cooks in the Galilee, will appear in Nirens' new recipe book, the Galilean Kitchen. He is currently raising funds on Indiegogo for the project, which will showcase local, authentic dishes as well as the stories behind the women who create them, those who offer home-cooking classes as part of Galileat. Learn more about the book here.


2 cups rice, rinsed
1 spoon chicken soup powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baharat
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, optional
2+2 tomatoes 
300 grams/10 ounces minced beef or chicken, optional
1/2 cup olive oil
30 vine leave and 8 small zucchinis (The light green courgettes are preferable and are used in Israel. Dark green zucchinis can be used too.)

Stuffing the zucchinis.

Carefully hollow out zucchinis with a sharp knife or special rounded blade.

Grate two tomatoes into rice. Add the spices and olive oil to the rice and mix well (If you are adding chili flakes and/or minced beef or chicken, it should be added to the rice at this stage too.)

Slice the third tomato and line the bottom of a pot with the tomato slices.

Half-fill zucchinis with rice and shake gently. Place in pot.

Hold one vine leaf flat on the palm of your hand, shiny side down, veined side up. Add 1 teaspoon of rice mixture. Fold in the sides and roll up the vine leaf. Repeat with the remaining vine leaves.

Pack rolled vine leaves over the stuffed zucchinis in the pot. Slice the 4th tomato and place over the filled vegetables. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over tomato.

Place an inverted plate over the vegetables so as to prevent them from floating to the top and becoming unraveled. Fill the pot with boiling water to the bottom rim of the plate. Cover pot. Bring to boil and reduce heat. 

Occasionally check if there is enough water.

Cook for 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy this #RecipeOfTheweek, and if you make any of these recipes, be sure to send a photo of your creation to teddyherzl18@gmail.com or tweet it to @JNFUSA with the hashtag #JNFfoodie. We might share it!