We have a grape vine in our back yard. In the past 4 years, it has only produced grapes once, and it was only 3 small grapes. Well, last year I was going to just pull it out and the thought came to me to try making homemade stuffed grape leaves. I had never done it before, and it seemed really strange to eat the leaves, but we had bought some in the past so I decided to try it.
I don't know if a grape leaf is a vegetable or not. I looked it up and some said it was a fruit since the plant produces fruit, and some said it was a vegetable and some said it was neither. So, I decided that it was more of a vegetable since it was a leafy green and so I am using it for this post.
You have to boil the grape leaves before rolling them. It turns the pretty green color into a more olive color. That is exactly what you want. Next, you cut the stem out. You don't want any hard stems. I rolled mine with a mixture of uncooked rice and uncooked ground beef. It was about half and half. I used garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, parsley, salt and pepper. After you roll them you put them tightly in a pan and cover with the right amount of water and cook them.
I can't begin to tell you how good they tasted. Middle Easterners have some pretty good food, like hummus for example, and this is another dish that is great. There is such a difference making your own versus buying the stuff in jars at the store that cost about $8 per jar. I never want to eat them out of a jar again!
It is always fun to try something new and even more exciting when it turns out SO well. Grape leaves are very healthy. I also know mine are organic and have not been sprayed with anything. You don't want to use grape leaves that have been sprayed.