Cooking with Love

Sunday, December 23, 2007

How to stuff a vine leave

I love stuffed vine leaves. There areo many different fillings - meat, cheese, yoghurt, rice....every nationality in the middle east has its own way to stuff leaves.
I love watching the druze woman in the northern villages sitting on the ground with a small table rolling vine leaves with such ease and grace. Every leave looking like a thin cigar in a matter of seconds. It looks like an art to me, a graceful ballet of the fingers. I do envy them.

This is my version:
a batch of vine leaves (they sell them here at all the markets
2 cups rice (real rice - not instant)
1/4 cup pine nuts, sauteed till golden
1 onion, grated
1 tomatoe, grated
1-2 minced garlic cloves
salt
pepper
cumin
juice from one lemon
2 TBS olive oil

Mix all ingredients

Now to the filling tutorial:
Take a nice vine leave, without tears or holes. Flatten with the root side down.

Place about a teaspoon filling in a nice thin row near the bottom.

Fold lower bottom part of the leave and...
Then the other lower part, as shown
Fold right side over the lower part already folded
And the other side in same way
And begin to roll from bottom to top This is how the vine leave should look. After 2-3 time you will get the hang of it.
Irregular or torn leaves can be used to cover the bottom of a wide pan. Vine leaves can be layered in the pan. Scatter a few garlic cloves, sliced and some sliced cherry tomatoes.
Add:
4 cups boiling water
salt
pepper
cumin
lemon juice
3-4 TBS olive oil

cover the leaves with a wide unbreakable plate. Cover and cook over low heat till all the water is absorbed.
Serve with homeade Tehina, recipe - tomorrow :)
vine leaves before cooking (cuz i forgot to photograph them after)

1 comment:

Olivia Kroth said...

I love stuffed vine leaves. I know them filled with rice from my visits to Greece.