Preserving Grape Leaves, A Pictorial…

In midst of the apple orchards and vineyards that surround our neighboring home amidst came wild grapes that settled in our garden.  Coincidentally, I also happen to LOVE dolmádes.  And so with grapes, comes grape leaves…thus, I seized the opportunity!


Original compilation for grape leaves preservation were adapted from various sources.

wild grapes

grape leavesWhat you’ll need (Preparation):

  • 30 grape leaves (young and large)
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Rinse the leaves in a sink full of water and drain them, then repeat.  Make a stack of approximately 25 leaves.

IMG_6571 (1280x1280)

IMG_6570 (1280x1280)Place leaves vein side up on a cutting board.  Trim the stem from the leaf. I found kitchen shears to be the best tool for this job.

IMG_6572 (1280x1280)

IMG_6573 (1280x1280)

IMG_6574 (1280x1280)Roll the stack up and then tie it with string or sewing thread.

IMG_6575 (1280x1280)

IMG_6579 (1280x1280)Bring 1 quart water and salt to a boil.  Blanch the leaves for 30 seconds.  Remove leaves from pot with tongs or a slotted spoon taking care not to rip them.  Allow to cool in a bowl with ice water.

IMG_6580 (1280x1280)

IMG_6581 (1280x1280)What you’ll need (Preservation):

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice (do not use Meyer Lemons, they are not acidic enough)

Bring water and lemon juice to a boil.  Stack leaves in piles of 25 and roll up from side to side.  Place rolls upright in a sterile wide-mouth pint mason jar.  Fold over tops to allow 1/2 head space.  Pour hot water/lemon juice mixture over the leaves leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rim of jar with a clean towel.

IMG_6582 (1280x1280)

IMG_6586 (1280x960)Top with a lid and screw down lid.  Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath or keep in the refrigerator.

IMG_6589 (1280x1280)TIP:  Save the bigger leaves, which may be too tough for stuffing, as the lining vessel for the pot/pan.  Wash them out, pat them dry, and place them in a freezer bag for later use.

IMG_6583 (1280x1280)

IMG_6584 (1280x1280)

IMG_6585 (1280x1280)