When I saw The Dutchess, stuffed grape leaves came to my mind immediately — how nice they’’d look in there and how well they would cook. My sister is actually the master grape-leaf maker, and I always tried to compete with her. I loved the process of building a maze of grape leaves in the pot. I grew up eating them with meat, but I wanted to do a fresher vegetarian version.


Makes 8 servings
For the filling:
  • 2 c. short-grain rice (approx. 2 3/4 c.), soaked and cleaned
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp baharat (7-spice mix)
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c. parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp aleppo pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

For the grape leaves:
  • 500 g grape leaves*
  • 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 1/2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp baharat (7-spice mix)
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp baharat (7-spice mix)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste

*If using jarred, soak in warm water and rinse well to remove the brine. If fresh, cook grape leaves in boiling water until soft.

Cookware Used
The Dutchess
6.75-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
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The Whole Grain Family
3-Piece Wooden Utensil Set
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8.5-Inch Stainless Steel Sauce Pan
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  1. Drain and stack prepared grape leaves for assembly.
  2. Prepare filling by mixing herbs, onions, tomatoes, rice, salt, and aleppo pepper, if using. Dress with pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Grab a leaf and place smooth side down (vein side up) with the tip pointing away from you. Place 1 tsp of stuffing in a thin line along the base of the leaf. Fold the bottom of the grape leaf over filling and begin rolling until midway. Fold in the right and left sides toward middle and continue rolling upward until you have a tightly rolled cylinder. Repeat with the rest of leaves.
  4. Add potatoes and tomatoes in concentric circles with 3 tbsp of olive oil to the bottom of The Dutchess. Carefully place grape leaves on top in concentric circles. Rolled grape leaves should be snug. Each layer of grape leaves should be placed perpendicular to the layer below.
  5. In Saucy, combine broth, spices, pomegranate molasses, salt, and the remaining juice from the filling and bring to a boil.
  6. Pour over grape leaves and cover The Dutchess with lid. Simmer on low for 1–1 1/2 hours until cooked and no liquid remains.
  7. Add lemon juice at the very end.

Photos by Noah Fecks, food styling by Romilly Newman

Photos by Noah Fecks.