Recipe Repertoire 1/52...

07 January, 2014

Welcome to the first installment of Recipe Repertoire, where new and exciting recipes are attempted and hopefully are wildly successful, thereby adding joy and excitement to kitchens and dining rooms. Feel free to join me in blogging about trying a new recipe to expand your own Recipe Repertoire, and of course please leave a comment to let me know you've done so, and I'll add a link to your post in my next Recipe Repertoire post.

My first cookbook off the shelf from which to expand my culinary experience is Donna Hay's 'Instant Entertaining'.

This was a gifted cookbook, and while I like some of the styling, I typically find her recipes a little too basic to be inspiring to me. I don't believe I've actually yet cooked a recipe from this book.

But no longer.

I browsed the pages and found two recipes I liked the sound of:

Breadcrumb Zucchini, and

Haloumi in Vine Leaves

As I have yet to get a zucchini from my 6 plants (but I reckon I'll have some in the next week, so Breadcrumb Zucchini here I come), but I have both haloumi and a grapevine, Haloumi in Vine Leaves it is!

So out I went to pick some vine leaves. I also picked some beans and basil for a small side salad.

At this point I briefly read the recipe, then put the book aside. I like recipes, but use them more as a guide than an absolutely-must-not-deviate-from-the-recipe-or-the-sky-will-fall dictatorial rule.

I blanched the vine leaves (as I learnt when making dolmades) by dunking them in just boiled water. When they are pliable, but before they go horrible and grey looking I took them out and laid them on my chopping board.

They then got brushed with olive oil, then topped with a hunk of haloumi, some preserved lemon (the recipe said lemon rind, but whatev's), a sprinkle of oragano and a twist or two of cracked pepper.

Then the slightly fiddly folding of the vine leaf around the haloumi was done.

All were laid on a tray and baked in a 180 degree C oven for 10 minutes (as per the recipe directions).

This gave me just enough time to whack a couple of potatoes in the microwave and make my bean and basil salad.

10 minutes later, dinner was done.

I have to say I liked the flavour of the vine leaves with haloumi, and the lemon and oragano was a delicious addition.

I would be cautious of not cooking them longer than 10 minutes, or in a higher temp oven, as the edges were a little bit dry and crackly, which wasn't pleasant.

However, it was a very nice meal, and the vine leaf wrap is something I think would work well with chicken or fish too.

Yay for an addition to my Recipe Repertoire. Hopefully future recipes will be as successful.


  1. Nice! I've never used vine leaves before, but have an ornamental grape vine growing over the back fence. Time for me to put it to use.

    1. Definitely give it a shot as the flavour is great (I assume ornamental grape leaves are just as edible as eating grape leaves are)

  2. Love the concept of 'recipe repertoir' - I also like your flexible approach to recipe adaptation.. I tend to be the same..... looking forward to more new recipes.

    1. Cheers. I thing it's easy to get into a recipe rut (another alliterative description yay) unless you constantly look for new recipes to try.

  3. Good work. I really have to get back to blogging with some regularity perhaps this is it? Man I love haloumi and wrapped in grape leaf must be pretty nice

    1. I love haloumi too! I have heard it described as polystyrene cheese, and as un appealing as that sounds it's kinda true, but so delicious regardless.