During the summer months in Michigan it is not uncommon to see people along the roadside picking grape leaves off the vine. You’ll see groups of people picking leaves anywhere they can reach them. Michigan has a large Mediterranean community, and Stuffed Grape Leaves can be found all over the state! They are found in the prepared food section of most grocery stores, and can even be found in cans and they are not bad tasting!
Stuffed Grape Leaves can taste very different from one another, depending on the region of the Mediterranean they hail from. My family’s vegetarian recipe has a sweet but savory flavor. I love adding them to an appetizer display because it adds an old world flair. I love to pair them with Santorinian Fava Dip, Spinach Pie, and other various crudites. Grape Leaves are always a huge hit, and they are a healthy appetizer option. Grape Leaves have anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent cancer, and many other chronic diseases. Stuffed Grape Leaves are a highly nutritious dish and has tons of nutrients. It is perfect to if you’re looking to start a healthy living “diet,” I’d recommend checking out the Mediterranean diet. And continue to come back here for more fun and healthy Mediterranean dishes!
The best part of this recipe is that it’s not only vegetarian, it’s also vegan, dairy free, and gluten free, too.
Definitely make note that the full process of picking, and making grape leaves is quiet time consuming. It takes time learning the technique, but it is worth all the labor when you are done! Enjoy!
Stuffed Vegetarian Grape LeavesPrint Recipe
- 4 Cups of onions chopped finely
- 2 Cup of vegetable oil
- 2 Cups of long grain rice
- 1/2 Cup of pine nuts
- 1/2 Cup of currants
- 1/2 Cup of dill
- 2 Cups of water
- 16 Ounce jar of grape leaves
- 1/4 Cup of olive oil
- !/4 Cup of lemon juice
- 3 Cups of water to cover
- 1 whole lemon
- 1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda
Remove grape leaves from jar rinse and put them in a pan with baking soda bring to a boil and remove and drain, Let them boil for only for 5 minutes.
Saute onion, rice, dill, pine nuts, currants, sugar and 2 cups of water in vegetable oil
Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes
Go to the grape leaves and remove the stems
Lay the grape leave shiny side down and begin stuffing by placing 1 teaspoon at the stem end
Fold the stem end up sides in and roll tightly toward the top of the leaf. (Like a egg roll)
Lay tightly in a pan
Mix 1/4 olive oil, lemon juice, and 3 cups of water and pour over the stuffed leaves
Place lemon slice on top and cover with a plate and press down
Cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours until liquid is gone
Chill and serve
To remove the bitter flavor don't forget to add the baking soda to the boiling water Don't forget to place the plate over the grape leaves to help keep them from falling apart