Grape vine pictures photos

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It’s grape leaf time! Late spring wherever you are is the grape vine pictures photos time to harvest grape leaves for cooking, most especially for making dolmades.
abelofylla yia ntolmades klymatariagrape leaves for dolmades pile of vines
I usually forget to do this until the grape vines are going all over the place and need some trimming. As you can see, I brought an armload into the kitchen, but I won’t be using all these leaves. We use only the more tender leaves on the last couple of feet of each vine.

abelofylla yia ntolmades klymataria grape vine

Use scissors to snip each usable leaf off the vine, cutting the stem flush with the leaf. What do I mean by “usable”? We want the leaves to be young and tender, yet big enough to roll around a blob of filling. The palm of your hand is the ideal size. Take a look at the leaves below.

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades arranged by size

The column of leaves furthest to the left are pretty small. They’ll make lovely fancy dolmadakia, but they’ll slow you down because you’ll have to do more and fussier rolling of leaves around filling. The two middle columns of leaves are perfect. The two big leaves in the rightmost column are too tough for stuffing, but I won’t throw them away because I can use them to line the pan when I make the dolmades.

abelofylla yia ntolmades rinse the grape leaves for dolmades

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

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades draining

Make a stack of approximately 25 leaves.

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades stacked

Roll the stack up…

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades rolled up

…and then tie it with string or sewing thread.

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades tied

Here’s what I got for that huge armload of vines.

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades bundled up in rolls

Dip each bundle in boiling salted water and remove it right away.

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades dipped in boiling water

Let them cool.

abelofylla yia ntolmades grape leaves for dolmades blanched bundles

Put the bundles in plastic and freeze. You can actually use them right away, if you have the energy. I never do!

This is the method I learned from Mama, but there are other methods for preserving grape leaves. Nancy Gaifyllia at About.com gives a variety of techniques for grape leaves. Check out her article





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