preserved grape leaves

We are fortunate to have grapes grow as the shady overhang in our backyard.  They are exotic yet seasonal, and so I decided to preserve some of the leaves for future use.

Dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice and other Greek ingredients) are a lot of work, but I would like to make them as a special appetizer for Thanksgiving using the grape leaves from our garden.

To preserve fresh grape leaves, cut them from the vines and layer them vein side up, as shown.  Fold and layer them inside a pint jar:

Cover the grape leaves with a 3:2 brine, which is three parts filtered water to two parts apple cider vinegar. Here, I made two pints of leaves and used three cups of filtered water and two cups of apple cider vinegar, which I boiled before adding it to the jars.  Process the jars for 15 minutes.

I’ll post my recipe for dolmas when I make those this fall using my preserved grape leaves.  UPDATE:  It just occurred to me that I could make a batch of dolmas now using fresh, blanched grape leaves.  Duh!  I’ll try to do that in the next week or two while the vines are still green and fresh.

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