One of the famous delicious Lebanese mezze dishes! Sometimes served hot with cotelette 🙂
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Vine Leaves, also known as Grape Leaves are famously used in the Lebanese cuisine. They are usually picked fresh and stuffed with a mixture of rice, meat and tomatoes then cooked and served with yoghurt. They are also stuffed with rice and vegetables and served as a mezze dish “Warak Inab bil Zeit” or pickled for winter use.
Vine leaves make there way on their mother vine early Spring, around April and March. Newly developed soft and bright green leaves are picked and eaten with Tabboule, as a lettuce replacement.
Simply delicious, you should try it 🙂
During this time of year, it’s pickles season. Pickles are made from freshly harvested vegetables, such as the cucumbers and wild cucumbers.
There are several ways to prepare pickles. The simplest and easiest way to do at home is the “Fresh Pack Preparation” that does not require fermentation.
There are several steps to follow in order to produce the crispiest pickles:
1- Harvest and wash the cumbers
2- Sterilize the Jars (using hot water)
3- Prepare the pickling solution: water + salt + vinegar + spices
4- Boil the pickling solution
5- Pack the cucumbers in the jars
6- Add the pickling solution (just after it boils)
7- Add grape leaves on top
8- Seal the jars
9- Invert the jars for few minutes (to pasteurize the lid)
10- Keep to rest
Why do we add grape leaves?
One of the basic problems that you might face when preparing pickles, is having soft pickles after the process is done. Softening is due to the presence of molds already contained within the cucumbers. On the other hand, grape leaves contain mold inhibitors, which prevent the molds from softening the cucumber, resulting in a successful pickling process with crispy pickles.