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A Delicious Controversy

BandCollector

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A couple years ago I posted a thread featuring stuffed grapevine leaves. As a Greek, I have had "discussions" with others from the Middle Eastern regions as to who actually developed this tasty Mediterranean dish. Since everyone takes credit, I did a little research and found this:

"Some Greeks will tell you that the origin of stuffed vine leaves goes back to the time when Alexander the Great besieged Thebes. Food became so scarce that the Thebans cut what meat they had into little bits and rolled it in grape leaves. However some argue that the delicious dish originated in the Turkish kitchen and from there it made it to the Middle Eastern and Egyptian cuisine in the 14th century."

Fortunately, the controversy does not affect the taste of these leaves! This time I have included the recipe for your enjoyment.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 10 Cups Chopped Onions (This recipe is the meatless version)
  • ¼ Cup +1/8 Cup Dry Dill
  • ¼ Cup Dry Mint
  • 2 T Salt
  • 1 T Black Pepper (may be adjusted to your taste)
  • ¾ Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 ½ Cups Uncle Ben’s Rice (original)
  • 24 oz Jarred Grape Leaves (Yergat or Pandora are the best)
  • 9-10 lemons
Ingredients assembled

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1. Wash grape leaves in cold water and blanch in boiling water for about two minutes.

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2. Saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about five minutes. Place mixture in an ice bath to cool as rapidly as possible stirring frequently. At this time preheat your oven to 350˚.


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3. Cover the bottom of your oven safe pot with lemon slices . Fill each leaf (shiny side down) with approx. 1tablespoon of mixture and roll.
Rolling the leaves takes some practice so I would suggest Googling or You Tubing "How to Roll Grapevine Leaves."

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4. Place lemon slices between each layer of rolls as you go as well as on top of the last layer.


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5. Add enough water to the pot to cover the bottom layer completely. Cover the pot tightly and bake @ 350˚ for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove your pot from the oven after 1 1/2 hours and allow the rolls to cool with the lid in place. This is critical or the rolls will darken in color.

6. Once the rolls cool they are ready for consumption. I like to squeeze some lemon juice on them before enjoying.

IMG_1279.jpg


Thanks for viewing and I hope you enjoy these as much as my family, friends, and I do.

John
 

BandCollector

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nice. I was told decades ago that the best grape leave are white on the under side

Not too sure about that but I do remember as a kid stopping along the road and gathering wild grape leaves with my mother and father.

Leaves are usually harvested in the early spring when they are the most tender but can be harvested year round. The later you wait in the year to gather them the more "tough" in texture they become.

Thanks for viewing and enjoy,

John
 

justplainbob

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Not too sure about that but I do remember as a kid stopping along the road and gathering wild grape leaves with my mother and father.

Leaves are usually harvested in the early spring when they are the most tender but can be harvested year round. The later you wait in the year to gather them the more "tough" in texture they become.

Thanks for viewing and enjoy,

John
i had a hedge row of them and a local would knock on my door every spring and ask if he could have some. you dont get told by old greek men what is good and what isnt
you get yelled at what is the best
 

DRKsmoking

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Looks great and thanks for the recipe and how to do.
I have never had these , but I worked with a lot of Greek folks , had many different foods .

I will give this a try next year when my veins are nice and full.

Thanks

David
 

normanaj

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Being Armenian I grew up on them. Armenians call them yalanchi sarma. Recipes definitely vary by region.
 

TNJAKE

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I always enjoy when you post these. Nice job as usual bud
 

Sowsage

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Thanks for sharing again, this is still on my list to do.. If one were to do a "meat" version. Would you just replace some of the onion with meat? Or is it a completely different recipe?
 

SmokinAl

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Looks delicious John!
Never had them, but would like to try one!
Al
 

BandCollector

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Thanks for sharing again, this is still on my list to do.. If one were to do a "meat" version. Would you just replace some of the onion with meat? Or is it a completely different recipe?
The meat version is a different recipe. I have not made it in quite some time because I prefer the meatless version. I would be happy to send you the recipe. Just send me your email address via PM.

Meatless version is eaten cold and meat version is eaten hot.

John
 

zwiller

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Looks killer John. I love Greek food and what I call middle eastern food (not great in geography LOL). Never made it but parents have grapes... Thank you for sharing. Man I'd die to pick you and normanaj normanaj brains for a good rub with middle eastern influence.
 

Bearcarver

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Very Interesting, and Looks Great, John!!!
Nice Job!
Like.

Bear
 

BandCollector

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Very Interesting, and Looks Great, John!!!
Nice Job!
Like.

Bear
Thank you Bear. . .Coming from you really means a lot!

Can't make them in your Ninja but give the recipe a try. You will be the envy of the Greek community in your area. LOL!

John
 
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atomicsmoke

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Amazing roll job. They look textbook.
Where i come from we roll cabbage leaves....i don't know why rolled vine leaves didn't pickup almost everyone had grapevines.

I think i posted them hear a few times - we eat them hot after a short boil and a rest. Smoked meats in between them while they cook....they get that flavour infused....

I had rolled vine leaves a few times...they were so good.
 

bauchjw

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Those look awesome! We really enjoy these when we eat out, but never thought to make my own! Thank you for sharing, cool history lesson too!
 

BandCollector

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[
Amazing roll job. They look textbook.
Where i come from we roll cabbage leaves....i don't know why rolled vine leaves didn't pickup almost everyone had grapevines.

I think i posted them hear a few times - we eat them hot after a short boil and a rest. Smoked meats in between them while they cook....they get that flavour infused....

I had rolled vine leaves a few times...they were so good.
I also make stuffed cabbage rolls. . .Great Stuff!
 

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