Preserving Grape Leaves

nancedar(z7NC)May 2, 2009

There must be some way to can my own grape leaves for Dolmas or Dolmade - the Lebanese/Greek tidbits made up of rice, pine nuts, lemon, dill or mint, and other goodies wrapped in grape leaves and simmered. I find the bottled jars of them in the store at a high price, but I grow organic grapes and there are lots of leaves just waiting for me. Do any of you know how to can them? I'm sure a high amount of lemon juice is called for too to preserve them safely when using a BWB. Just the leaves, not the Dolmas - after those are made they can be frozen but I'd prefer to open my own jar of leaves and make the Dolmas fresh.


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readinglady(z8 OR)

These are not as salty as the commercial leaves, so you don't have to soak them after removing from the jar.

Per pint:

About 30 tender, light-green grape leaves
1 quart water
2 tsp. pickling salt
1 cup water plus 1/4 cup lemon juice or 1 1/4 cups water plus 1/2 tsp. citric acid

Bring salt and water to a boil. Blanch leaves 30 seconds. Drain.

Stack leaves in piles of 6. Roll stacks loosely from the side (not the stem or tip). Pack into a pint jar, folding over ends if necessary. (Ball wide-mouth are taller than Kerr.)

In a nonreactive pan bring the water-lemon juice or the water-citric acid combination to a boil. Pour over the rolled leaves, leaving 1/2" headspace. Close jar and process 15 minutes BWB. Or for short-term use, cover and refrigerate.

from "The Joy of Pickling" Linda Ziedrich


    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 10:38AM
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Can it be any variety of grape leaf or are some better than others? I only ask because I think I read somewhere that it was best to use leaves from particular grapes.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 8:50PM
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Well, any grape leaf will do as long as it is large enough to fill and roll and not infested with bugs or sprayed with insecticide.

I like this thread because I was wondering about pickling these things also. I love to use every part of my backyard vineyard. Mostly for wine. I love Dolmadas and make mine in the spring with fresh leaves, and if I can spare some of that lovely grape must, am willing to venture into artisan mustards and Sicilian Mostaccioli.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 1:28PM
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Thanks for helping me with the method. I made 3 pint jars using Concord grape leaves. Very simple and easy to do. When blanched, the leaves turn to a muddy brown-green. Rolled in the jar they look like wet cigars. LOL


    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:37AM
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