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.
What 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.
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.
Roll the stack up and then tie it with string or sewing thread.
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.
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.
Top with a lid and screw down lid. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath or keep in the refrigerator.
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.