I had thought Kevin destroyed all of our grape vines during all of the outdoor demo work we've done the last couple of years. But he missed one area of them. He hates them. I'm not crazy about the way they look and all the japanese beetles that they attract, but I am putting them to good use this summer. I have used them in my pickles and I decided it would be good to preserve plain grape leaves to use in making dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) in the future. So I found this method on Prodigal Gardens and knew this was what I was going to do. I made some on Friday and now have one jar sitting in my fridge. I plan to make another jar once more of the new leaves start growing.
Brined Wild Grape Leaves
Quart sized mason jar
3 dozen, fresh, large wild grape leaves
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 Tablespoons whey (or just add another Tablespoon of salt)
2 cups filtered water
Only harvest the young, tender grape leaves - the ones that are large and minty green in color. The dark-colored older leaves should be avoided - they are stringy, fibrous, and tough.
Place a dozen leaves in a stack, stems all together. Roll up the stack so as to obtain a tight compact roll and this should be put in a jar. You will have three rolls in your jar.
Mix your brine - the salt and water - until salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over your rolled grape leaves in the jar. Put the lid on the jar, but do not tighten completely. Leave the jars to lacto-ferment for 2 or 3 days. Look for signs of fermentation - popping, fizzing, bubbling, and for the brine to taste a little sour. Move the jars to the fridge. Let sit for at least a month before using. They will be good for about a year in the fridge, whenever you want to make dolmas.