Friday, February 23, 2007

Wrapped Grape Vine Leaves

Who doesn't love wrapped vine leaves, called dolma by many, called yaprak sarmasi by Turks. They are so delicious, that I wish I could make them all the time. Though I have to admit, my favorite wrapped leaf is cabbage, which my mother-in-law makes divinely.

This is a Turkish recipe for Wrapped Vine Leaves with Olive Oil (Zeytinyagli Yaprak Sarmasi). This is not difficult, just time consuming.


  • 150 grams vine leaves ** I used one 16 oz jar
  • 2 1/4 cup (550 g) water
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 6 large size (600 g) onions **note, although the recipe calls for this many onions, it seemed excessive to me and I used about half
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) pinenuts
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (240 g) rice ** I used brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) sugar ** I omitted the sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) currants
  • 1 small bunch (40 g) parsley
  • 1 small bunch (30 g) dill
  • 10-15 medium leaves (10 g) fresh mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) lemon juice
  • 1 medium (100 g) lemon


Wash and remove stems of vine leaves. Reserve stems. Heat salted water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add vine leaves. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Remove from liquid; drain. Complete volume of liquid to 2 1/4 cups. Set aside.

Combine finely chopped onions and pinenuts in a saucepan. Add oil. Saute covered for 20 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rinsed and drained rice; mix well. Saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring again.

Add salt, sugar and 1 1/3 cups of reserved liquid; stir. Sprinkle currants over. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes; drain. Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.

Stir in finely chopped herbs. Season with spices. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss slightly.

Place 1 tablespoon of filling over wrong sides (non-shiny) of the grape vines. Fold sides over filling. Roll into oblongs 2 1/2 cm (1 inch) in diameter and 5-6 cm (2 - 2 1/2 inch) long.

Spread hard stems of vines, and stems of parsley and dill on bottom of a shallow saucepan. Arrange wrapped vine leaves in saucepan. Heat remaining reserved liquid. Add to wrapped vegetable. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat; cool.

Garnish with lemon slices. Serve cold with lemon juice drizzled on top.

This recipe is from Samples from Turkish Cuisine by Ayse Baysal

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