Grape leaves have become a fashionable ingredient in the life of a modern person. They are used in medicine and in cosmetology; they are used for making tonic tea. They are best known as the basis of the national Asian and Caucasian dishes of dolma. So let's get to know them better.
The chemical composition of grape leaves
Grape leaves are a natural storehouse of vitamins and minerals. The energy value per 100 g is 93 kcal, the product is high in fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
They contain: phosphorus, copper and magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium, manganese and vitamins of groups A, B, C, E and PP. The list continues with beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, fiber and omega acids.
Useful properties and contraindications
Let's talk about beneficial properties. Since time immemorial, healers have used the natural power of grape greens in the preparation of a healing potion to heal various ailments. They were used as a means:
- pain reliever;
- with female diseases;
- upset stomach;
- attacks of rheumatism.
Modern science confirms the benefits of grape leaves. They act as an antioxidant, enhance immunity and protect the body from aging. Their regular use in the diet:
- enhances vision;
- has a beneficial effect on the skin and hair;
- calms the nerves;
- reduces the risk of cancer;
- helps with joint diseases;
- relieves inflammation of the mucous membranes;
- helps to improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract;
- cleanses the body of toxins;
- reduces puffiness and venous insufficiency;
- stimulates the work of the heart muscle.
However, grape leaves have a number of contraindications. They are not recommended for use when:
- acute form of gastritis and stomach ulcers;
- diabetes mellitus.
You should be especially careful with pickled and salted grape leaves, due to the presence of acids and sodium in them, for pregnant and lactating women.
Timeline for collection
The best time to harvest greenery is considered to be the period before the vine begins to bloom. Given the factor that the vine grows continuously, then young leaves appear on it until autumn. Practically, it is possible to collect greens for the entire growing season, except for the period of chemical treatment.
Culinary experts advise using the leaves of white grapes to make dolma. They are more tender and tasty than red varieties.
Grape leaf tea
Having tasted this aromatic and tonic tea for the first time, you can become its fan forever. It is quite easy to prepare "tea leaves" from grapevine at home. Required:
- Collect young leaves and rinse.
- Collapse in the form of an envelope.
- Dry in a dryer or oven.
- Grind by hand
- Store in a container in a dry and dark place.
To brew tea you need to take 1 tsp of "grape tea" pour 250 ml of boiling water over it... Insist 10 minutes and strain. You can brew a drink with the addition of green and black tea.
Drinking a pure infusion will help to cope with throat ailments, and they can also wash wounds or ulcers. You can store the "tea leaves" until the next harvest.
Harvesting for dolma for the winter
Delicious, fragrant dolma has become a favorite not only in its historical homeland. More and more often it can be found on the tables of the inhabitants of Russia. In order to please your family with a culinary masterpiece all year round, you need to know how to prepare grape leaves for future use.
This method of saving is the most convenient. You will need:
- fold clean leaves in a pile (10-15pcs);
- roll up the stack into a "blank tube";
- wrap each piece with cling film;
- put in a container and put in the freezer.
When the time comes to cook the dolma, the workpieces must be thawed, and then scalded with boiling water.
Pickled pickles in jars
This salting recipe is good because the taste of the product is neutral. This will require: green grapes 1 kg, rock salt 5 tbsp. spoons, 1 l. water.
- prepare sterile jars;
- pour greens with boiling water for no more than 3 minutes;
- quickly drain the water through a sieve or colander;
- cool greens and collect in piles of 10-15 pieces;
- roll the piles into rolls;
- put rolls in a jar and sprinkle with salt;
- pour chilled brine;
- for fermentation, keep at room temperature for 2 weeks.
For brine, add 1.5 tablespoons of salt to 1 liter of boiling water, mix, bring to a boil and cool. Add brine as needed during fermentation. Seal the jars with lids and store in a dark and cool place.
The shelf life of a closed jar with salting is 1-2 years, the shelf life of the product when opened is 4-5 days.
Salting in barrels
Ideal for salting in barrels for those who have cellars for storing large containers.
- Prepare the barrel, rinse and scald with boiling water.
- Put the greens of the grapes in piles and twist them tightly into the tubes.
- Place the workpieces tightly into the barrel.
- Pour with brine.
- Cover with a clean cloth and a wooden circle.
- Install oppression.
Before use, salted leaves must be soaked in water for 30 minutes.
How to pickle
For lovers of marinades, we recommend pickling grape greens like ordinary vegetables. Suggests to take note of the simplest recipe.
- Prepare sterile jars.
- Fold clean and dry grape leaves and wrap them in tight rolls (10-15 pieces each).
- Place the rolls tightly into the jars "up to the shoulders".
- Pour boiling water over for 10 minutes.
- Drain the water and repeat the procedure 2 times.
- Pour over boiling marinade.
- Roll up under the lid.
- Store in a cool and dark place.
Marinade: For 1 liter of water 1 tablespoon rock salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar 9%.
The dry preservation method is popular for its simplicity. In this case, the leaves are not rolled up into rolls, but stacked in layers. Sprinkle salt on each layer. Filled jars with herbs are sterilized in a hot oven at a temperature of 90-100C for about 10 minutes. Then the jars are rolled up with lids and stored in the cellar or in the refrigerator.
As you can see, keeping a grape leaf for the winter is easy. Having made the necessary preparations, even in the January frost, it will be possible to enjoy hot and fragrant dolma without any problems. Eat with pleasure and have a particle of grapevine and summer sun next to you.
Grape leaves for the winter for dolma: 3 ways
Grape leaves on the dinner table in winter are like a slice of summer amid snow and cold. From them you can cook various dishes and please your loved ones, for example, dolma. They also wrap fish, salted cheeses. Dishes prepared on the basis of grapes have a unique taste and aroma of ripe vine.
Traditional medicine uses dried grape leaves in harvests to prevent the formation of cancerous tumors, arrhythmias, and to treat a number of rheumatic pains. And even without resorting to the help of herbalists, the leaves can be eaten with fatigue, depression and the treatment of certain throat diseases.
Freezing grape leaves
- Cut off leaves without cuttings. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
- Fold 10 pieces of sheets one by one and roll tightly into a tube. To prevent the form from disintegrating, it must be secured with cling film, wrapping the leaves. Fold in a cellophane bag and send to the freezer.
- Before cooking, pour over the finished frozen leaves with hot water and start cooking.
Leaves should not be washed before freezing, as the remaining droplets will turn into ice and disrupt the storage process.
Harvesting grape leaves
And in order to enjoy dolma at any time of the year, you need to take care of the preservation of grape leaves. This can be done in different ways: freeze, pickle, salt, and preserve. With any canning method, the leaves must be prepared. They must be rinsed and dried, or lightly rubbed. It is advisable to slightly wither - the leaves become less brittle - it is easier to manipulate them. Cut off the petioles.
The easiest and fastest way to store grape leaves is to freeze them. Fold the prepared leaves in a stack of 10-15 pieces. Roll up, wrap in plastic wrap or put in plastic bags. Place in a freezer. The leaves become very fragile when frozen, so it is better to use them in a container. To prepare dolma, they are thawed at room temperature. Then scalded with boiling water. Then useful qualities and vitamins are preserved in them as much as possible.
Grape leaves can be kept fresh in plastic bottles. For this:
- The container must first be rinsed well. To do this, pour 1 tsp inside. salt and baking soda, add some water and shake the bottle vigorously. Then rinse with clean water and let it drain.
- We fold the leaves in 3-6 pieces (as it turns out), fold them into a thin tube so that it can crawl into the neck of the bottle. We help with a thin long stick or a cocktail tube to lay the leaves as tightly as possible. Be careful not to tear the leaves! In addition to grape leaves, there should be nothing in the bottle.
- Press down, release air, close tightly with a lid.
Now we put it for storage in a closet, on a mezzanine, in a cellar. Putting the workpiece in the cold is contraindicated. With this method of processing, the product is stored for up to two years. When you want to cook dolma, we cut the bottle. We take out the leaves from the container, fill it with cold water. On the leaves there may be a yellowish bloom - these are amino acids. Do not take such points as a sign of damage. Straighten, stuff with minced meat and cook.
An option for an amateur: we also fill the bottle with leaves, but add a little salt.
Another easy way to preserve grape leaves is dry canning. To do this, tightly put the prepared leaves in layers of 10-15 pieces in clean glass jars, sprinkling them with salt (not much salt is needed). Next, they need to be sterilized in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes, rolled up with lids. Store in a dark place.
In this section, we'll take a look at how to pickle grape leaves. Grape leaves for the winter for dolma can be pickled like regular vegetables. Below we have discussed several ways.
To pickle the leaves we need:
- Rinse and sterilize small glass jars.
- We roll the prepared grape leaves about 8-14 pieces into tubes and put them tightly in jars.
- The next step is to fill it with boiling water for 5-10 minutes, then the liquid must be drained. Repeat the procedure. For the third time, pour boiling marinade and roll up with a metal lid.
Cooking the marinade
For 1 liter of water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, the same amount of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of 9 percent vinegar.
Another way to pickle grape leaves for dolma.
- We wash the harvested crop under running water, scald with boiling water.
- Put 1-2 pieces at the bottom of a sterilized glass jar. bay leaf, 4-5 peppercorns, 1-2 cloves. On top, carefully lay the leaves in layers.
- We prepare a marinade from 1 liter of warm boiled water, salt and sugar, 1 tbsp each. spoon and 1-2 tbsp. spoons of 9% vinegar.
- Pour the resulting brine into a jar, put spices on top: bay leaf, cloves, pepper.
- We close it with a plastic lid. After a day, pickled grape leaves for dolma are ready to eat, but can be stored for a long time in a cool place.
You can buy pickled grape leaves for dolma in the store, but as often as it happens, homemade preparations are always more delicious. And the product pickled with your own hands suits your taste preferences.
Consider how to salt the leaves. Below we have prepared three ways to prepare a salty product.
Leaves can be preserved in 10% sodium chloride solution. The washed and tightly rolled leaves are tightly packed into prepared dishes, filled with non-hot brine. Close with plastic lids. Salted material, keeps well at room temperature. Leaves prepared in this way should be kept in lukewarm water for about two hours before use, so we will remove excess salt.
Grape leaves can be salted in a less saturated solution. We carry out manipulations as in pickling. But instead of marinade, we use hot brine with a salt content of about 2-3%.
This method of salting includes spices. We take the scalded and rolled leaves and put them in clean 0.5 liter jars. We make a mixture of:
- salt - 1 teaspoon
- dry mustard - 1 teaspoon, pour the leaves with it,
- add allspice (a few peas).
Fill everything with boiling water, roll up the lids. Storage at room temperature.
For a long time in the East they made it even easier. The washed leaves were placed in a barrel, poured with steep brine, covered with a clean cloth and pressed down with a sinker from above.
You can also save the leaves for dolma "dry". They are washed, dried, placed in a clean glass jar. Sprinkle lightly with salt and press firmly. Sterilized for 10-15 minutes, rolled up with lids.
And now that for which all our efforts are - Dolma!
This delicious dish is easy to prepare. Minced meat (about 1 teaspoon) is wrapped in a grape leaf in an envelope, like stuffed cabbage, only smaller in size. For minced meat we use either beef or lamb. Finely chopped onions are added to it, herbs to taste - mint, cilantro, parsley, as well as washed rice, if desired, you can boil it a little until half cooked. Mix everything well, season with salt, pepper, spices. Put in the refrigerator for half an hour. Bone broth is cooked in advance, filtered through a sieve. Wrapped minced meat in leaves, like stuffed cabbage, put it tightly in a saucepan and cook the dish over low heat until tender.
How to properly prepare fresh leaves for dolma
If you want to preserve grape leaves, you can preserve them for future use to cook dolma in winter. Rinse the leaves in cold water, the stalks do not need to be cut off. Take a large saucepan, pour the water and put it on the fire, when the water boils, season with salt to taste and then toss in some more salt to oversalt a little.
Put the grape leaves in boiling water; during the boil, their color should change from green to dark olive. As soon as this happens, remove the leaves from the pan, let cool slightly, and then stack in 10 piles, roll into rolls and place in glass jars. Cover the leaves with the prepared brine remaining in the saucepan and close the jars with the canning lids.
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Recipe 5: frozen dolma leaves in bags
Now I will share with you which grape leaves are suitable for dolma:
- For the preparation of blanks, it is better to use freshly plucked leaves. It is advisable to harvest in the middle of summer when they are young, soft and tender.
- For preservation, choose larger leaves.
- They should be free from damage, rot and dark spots.
Wash, remove tails and divide 60 grape leaves into three stacks of 20, stacking them from largest to smallest. So the bottom largest will hold the entire pack.
Pour three liters of water into a deep saucepan. Bring it to a boil, but do not let it boil.
Send one pack into the water so that the large ones are at the bottom.
"Bathe" them in water until the color of each changes.
Remove from water and place in a dish with sides. Let the water drain.
Repeat these manipulations with each stack of blanks.
Align the leaves and fold them into a plastic bag.
Let all the air out of the bag and close so that they do not bend.
Fold the packages on top of each other in this order:
The first package is tails up.
The second package is tails down.
The third package is tails up.
Send to freezer when cool. You can store one or two seasons.
Step by step recipe with photo
Rinse fresh or salted grape leaves well.
Fresh grape leaves are best taken when young, the size of a palm (they are harvested in spring). The darker the leaves, the older they are. For dolma, only light, white grape varieties are used.It is better not to use old and very large grape leaves. In this case, it is better to take salted leaves, which can be prepared for future use in the season, or purchased at the market or in the supermarket (rolled up in jars).
Put the grape leaves in a bowl, pour boiling water over and stand for about 5-7 minutes.
Place the leaves in a colander and let the water drain.
Drain the water, shake off excess water from the leaves.
Remove petioles from each leaf.
Peel the onion and chop finely.
In a frying pan, heat butter together with vegetable oil, put onion, salt and fry over low heat until soft.
Rinse the rice (no need to rinse the Arborio rice).
Put in a saucepan, add water (1 part rice 2 parts water), put on fire, bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes from the moment of boiling.
Place the rice in a colander.
Wash greens and chop finely.
Put the minced meat in a bowl, add fried onions, boiled rice, chopped herbs, a pinch of cumin, salt and pepper to it.
Traditionally, minced dolma is made from lamb, but if you wish, you can add beef to the lamb.Also, at your request, minced meat can be prepared from pork with beef.
Mix the minced meat well with your hands.
Arrange the grape leaves on the table with the smooth side down, and with distinct veins up.
Put some minced meat in the middle of each sheet.
First close the minced meat by folding the top edges of the sheet.
Then close the filling with the sides of the sheet.
And finally, roll up a tight tube, like a cabbage roll.
Prepare the remaining dolma in the same way.
Put 1-2 layers of grape leaves on the bottom of a thick-bottomed pan (substandard, torn leaves are suitable for this purpose).
Lay out dolmushki close to each other, seam down (can be laid out in several layers).
Pour broth or water level with dolma.
Salt water or broth, if necessary, cover with a dish, and put a load on top so that the dolma does not unfold during the boil.
Put a saucepan with dolma on fire, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Cook for 1-1.5 hours with a barely noticeable boil.
Remove the finished dolma from the heat and let it brew for about 10 minutes (during this time, the broth will be absorbed into the dolma, and it will become even juicier and tastier).
To cook sauce.
Wash the greens, dry and chop.
Peel the garlic and chop finely.
Combine sour cream with garlic and herbs, salt to taste, and stir.
Chill the sauce well in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
Serve hot dolma with sauce.
Enjoy your meal!
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