The Blessings Of The Grape Leaves

market

                                              A Seller Of Grape Leaves And Vegetables 

Selling grape leaves and vegetables in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem is one of the blessing of Jerusalem.  Open markets are everywhere and if there is no market, just come out by the street and share your bounty. Nice fresh grape leaves are a necessity to daily life.

The most popular way to use grape leaves is to stuff them. I have enclosed a general recipe for making the leaves, but they are usually made with whatever leftovers you may have and the current veggies in the garden. Most always they begin with wild or brown rice and lamb is an all time favorite if adding meat.

                                            Delicious Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Ingredients

2 large or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into  thick slices

1 pound jar pickled grape leaves or use fresh grape leaves if you prefer.

½ cup olive oil

1 medium onion,  chopped

1 pound  wild rice or brown and wild rice mixed

2 cups finely chopped parsley

2 medium tomatoes diced, 1 Bell pepper diced, 1 zucchini diced, mushrooms chopped, and black olives chopped..you can add any vegetable you like

10 cloves garlic,

½ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 inch fresh ginger chopped small

salt and black pepper to taste

If wanting to add meat…add 2 cups diced lamb

Instructions

Line the bottom of heavy pot with the potato slices to hold the stuffed leaves off the bottom of the pot.

2. In a large heavy pan, heat half of the oil and saute the onions and garlic until transparent. Add the rice, stir and cook for one minute. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, stir and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, depending on the rice used. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, vegetables, and seasoning. Mix well.

3. Remove the leaves gently from the jar or separate carefully if using fresh steamed leaves, wash with cold water and squeeze gently.

4. Place one grape leave down with rough side up. Put one tablespoon of the rice and vegetables in the the center of the leaf. Fold and roll.Fold the ends in before rolling to hold the stuffing in.

5. Place rolls over the potato layer until you cover all the potatoes with first layer. Repeat placing on top until you placed all the rolls tightly in the pot.  Drizzle with olive oil

6. Position a round plate, and press lightly to prevent the rolls from coming loose while cooking. Add water until you have about 2 1/2  inches of water above the plate. Place a light weight on top of the plate to keep from moving. Something heavy, or even a clean rock or brick will work.

7. Bring the pot to a boil, turn down the heat and cook over low heat for 40 minutes.

8. Pour fresh lemon juice over the rolls. Position the plate back on top of the stuffed leaves and cook over low heat for an additional 15 minutes more.

9. Remove from the heat and allow the leaves to rest while keeping covered  for ­30-45 minutes. Uncover and place on a platter and serve with a salad.

Play with the recipe and make it your own. There is no right or wrong.

Grape leaves are low in calories and high in fiber. They are rich in vitamins A, K, Calcium and Iron. They play a big part in the Middle Eastern, Greek, and Southeast Asian diet. If you stuff your grape leaves with healthy options, you will have a healthy and nutrient rich meal. They remain healthy if you steam or bake them.

If traveling in the Middle East, Greece, or Southeast Asia, be sure to sample the different ways that they are made. Life is an adventure, so take time to mingle with the locals, eat their special foods, and enjoy.

https://exploretraveler.com

Published on steemit.com@exploretraveler April 8,2017 at:

https://steemit.com/travel/@exploretraveler/the-blessings-of-the-grape-leaves

 

 

 

 

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