Grape leaves can be frozen or canned, and freezing is by far the easier method. Wild grape leaves work just as well as domesticated ones. Use preserved grape leaves to make dolmas (stuffed grape leaves).
Time Required: 15 minutes
Pick grape leaves that are small enough to still be tender, but large enough that they'll be able to hold a spoonful of stuffing when you make dolmas. 3 inches wide is ideal.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, wash the grape leaves well.
Cut off any remaining stems as close to the leaf as possible. If the leaf veins just below the stem attachment seem tough, snip these out with scissors.
Stack 20 leaves on top of one another. Roll them into a slightly loose, cigar-shaped bundle. Tie the bundles around the middle with kitchen twine.
Immerse the bundles of grape leaves in the boiling eater for 1 minute. Remove from the water with tongs and drain well.
Squeeze out excess water. Place the bundles of blanched grape leaves in freezer bags or containers and freeze.
To use, thaw a bundle of grape leaves, snip off the kitchen twine, and proceed with any dolmas recipe just as if you were using commercially preserved grape leaves.
Roll the bundles of leaves tightly enough not to slip out of the kitchen twine ties, but not too tightly. You want the boiling water to reach all of the leaves including the innermost ones in each bundle.
What You Need:
- Freshly picked grape vine leaves
- Kitchen twine or string
- Large pot