Wouldn’t it be great to have grape leaves in your pantry in winter too? You wouldn’t have to search for it at markets then! It might not be possible to find it every time or the leaves might not be to your taste. They sometimes use leaves that are too tough, which is not something you would want.
As I mentioned before, we, as Turkish people are like ants, who always save food for coming winter. We love to prepare food in summer when they are fresh, we want to carry this freshness to colder days too when foods are more limited.
Mom either brings us fresh grape leaves and we cure them here together or she makes it for us and brings the jar. If you love stuffed grape leaves as much as we do, if you are crazy about home made foods as much as we are, you should learn how to cure grape leaves!
Grape Leaves For Winter
Ideal leaves to be cured must be fresh and young and they shouldn’t have fuzz on them. Otherwise, they will not be as tasty as you desire. I will not give any measurement here, it depends on the amount of leaves you cure. However, you can measure water and salt with the egg method. Find it here!
Pile up leaves in groups of 20 or 25. Make sure their stems overlap.
Put these in a large tray in groups.
Boil some water, 1 or 2 liters depending on the amount of leaves.
Pour it on leaves when it is hot, it should cover leaves.
Cover the tray.
Let it cool.
Do not waste this water.
When it is cool enough, sprinkle a little kosher salt on the side of their stems and roll them as groups.
Place the groups of leaves in a jar until it is filled up.
Add salt into that boiled and cooled water using the egg method.
Pour it into the jar until it reaches the top of leaves.
Place a piece of cheesecloth on leaves, it functions as a weight to prevent leaves from floating.
Wait it in a dry place away from sunlight.
It gets ready after a week. You can easily get grape leaves from the jar in winter and stuff them!
It is possible to keep these for a year!
If the weather is very hot in your place, it might overflow, so it’s better to place a tray or a towel under the jar. If it overflows and the water inside reduces, you can prepare a little brine again with egg method and add it into the jar.
Wash them with warm water before using so that you remove the excessive salt on them.