Stuffed Vine Leaves


Saturday 26 April, 2014 by Uncle Spike

Stuffed vine leaves are a national dish here in Turkey, and certainly one of our favourites. They keep in the fridge pretty well, but rarely last that long to be honest 🙂 Anyway, now is the time that we pick and preserve them for use later on in the year.



Picking the best leaves also encourages more growth…

So once picked, they are washed and the stems pinched off. We don’t use any sprays anyway, so they are already clean and a healthy colour.



Then they are left to dry a bit…



The leaves are then bundled into fives and folded into squares, small enough to fit into the jars.



Turned upside down with a lid on, they start to cure all by themselves – no preservatives required. The jar on the right was done 24 hours before.



We can then keep them for months until we want to make up a batch of stuffed vine leaves. The jars can be kept in a normal food cupboard; no need to use a refrigerator or any additional preservatives.



** UPDATE **

In response to a few enquiries… here is a great recipe we would recommend. It’s by a Turk living in Canada who writes in language easily understood for western readers to produce genuine Turkish food. Enjoy…

Grape Leaf Rolls in Olive Oil
(Zeytinyağlı Yaprak Sarması)


25 thoughts on “Stuffed Vine Leaves

  1. One of my very favorite food! Thank you for sharing your expertise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gill McGrath says:

    I always have liked vine leaves wrapped round various things (from the delicatessen) and at one time I used to do the odd bit of leaf wrapping round rice with the vine leaves from the vine we once had.. But I never knew ( found out or even worked out) about their amazing shelf life, or how to store.(wish I had known). I now have my eye on the rampant vine next door (which has kept out of our way to date) but is due to peep over our fence this year!. So would love more authentic Turkish recipes savoury or otherwise soon if possible! (please) my love to Duke 🙂


    • Uncle Spike says:

      Look at that site I added to this post Gill. It has authentic Turkish recipes, written by a Türk living in Canada, so she is also well aware of local ingredient differentials and limitations; so a good site to follow for those not here in Turkey.
      Recommendation is from Aunty Spike; and who am I to argue there? (she’s an expert Turkish cook, believe me) 🙂


  3. AnnetteM says:

    Really interesting post. We have eaten these while on holiday and they are certainly delicious. I wonder if we can get vine leaves here?


  4. Hi Uncle Spike, thank you for reading my blogs. I liked the sunshine from Turkey reflected in your photograph of the vine leaves. I never knew that the vine leaves can preserve themselves! The vine has other properties as well as making our hearts glad with the wine. Thank you Angela


  5. John says:

    One of my mother’s favorites.


  6. eschudel says:

    What do you stuff them with? I’m getting hungry…


  7. Here in Georgia we tend rather to stuff cabbage leaves. I’m feeling hungry now.


  8. fredrieka says:

    wow can you used them fresh to make stuffed Vine leaves? Send me a recipe pleas, we have grape vines growing wild all over the property, I love stuffed vine leaves..


  9. Are they packed in oil? Water? Stored in refrigerator, or shelf? I buy grape leaves at the store in jars, would love to know how to preserve them myself!


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