Preserving Grape Leaves Recipe

Preserving Grape Leaves

Preserving grape leaves is very easy to do and worth the effort. Even though they are available in jars at Middle Eastern stores and at some specialty supermarkets, you can preserve them either by brining or freezing. I will be explaining the freezing method because hardly any of the leaves are wasted. Grape leaves that you store in jars at home using the brining method, may decompose after a certain time and when the jar is opened, often you’ll find that some of the leaves have turned “mushy.” As far as variety, green grape leaves are better for cooking than those of red grapes because they are thinner, shinier and more delicate. Red grape leaves have a more “fuzzy” texture, and tend to be a little thicker. If you have a grapevine in your backyard, don’t let it go to waste. You’d be amazed at the difference in taste between those sold in jars, and those that you preserve yourself. When the leaves start to grow, pick those that are about 6 inches in diameter. That’s the ideal size for wrapping. Stack the leaves up and store them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. Wait a few days and then pick some more leaves. When you have enough to put away, go ahead and freeze them.

Skill level: Easy
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Preserving Grape Leaves
“Grape Leaves 101”
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
  1. Fresh grape leaves about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.
  2. Salt
  3. Water
  4. Resealable freezer bags
  1. Wash the leaves at least twice to remove any dust and dirt.
  2. Stack the grape leaves, 15 – 20 per pile.
  3. In a bowl, arrange 2 or 3 stacks in a single layer.
  4. Sprinkle the leaves liberally with salt.
  5. Repeat this step of stacking and adding salt until for all the leaves.
  6. In a large saucepan add about 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  7. Add salt to the water and turn the heat off.
  8. Pour the hot salted water onto the salted leaves until all the leaves have been submerged.
  9. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave to cool. May take about an hour to cool off.
  10. Remove the plate and set aside.
  11. Using a large spoon lift a stack of leaves and place them on the plate or into a colander.
  12. Grab a bundle of leave squeeze out the water. Repeat this with the remaining leaves.
  13. Open each bundle and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of salt across.
  14. Beginning on the stem side of the leaf, roll the bundle up, and set aside.
  15. Repeat adding salt to all the other bundles.
  16. Place the rolled up leaves in a resealable freezer bag, label and date the bag, and store it in the freezer for future use.
  1. 1. If you decide you want to use the grape leaves immediately in your recipe, you may do so after removing the plate from the bowl. Drain some of the water out of the bowl. As you wrap, the water will prevent the leaves from sticking together.
  2. 2. When you’re ready to use the grape leaves, remove from freezer and let them thaw in a bowl. Add and drain the water once, then add some water and keep the leaves in soaking in the water while wrapping.
Velvet Edition

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