Stuffed Vine Leaves

Stuffed Vine Leaves
Vine leaves stuffed with rice, herbs and vegetables.
A local Mytilene recipe that adds zucchini and lettuce.
Combine this with the refreshing yogurt sauce, and the strong flavor of spearmint flavor.
Make them now, which is the season of fresh leaves and enjoy it as main dish or as the ultimate appetizer.
Try an excellent proposal by a professional cook for many years, in the large urban houses of old Mytilene.
work: 02h:00' time: 02h:45' difficult: 4/5
Stuffed Vine Leaves I was lucky to have this great cook as mother in law, and she taught me a lot of things about cooking.
I remember that in our family tables at Christmas or birthdays of her grandchildren, we were pleasantly surprised with the huge variety of dishes and flavors that she created, without any recourse to books or any notes that she could have used.
She did organize and executed everything from memory. She did not even kept notes for shopping the necessary ingredients. She knew, through her vast experience, what was needed and in what quantity.
We just enjoyed it or helped as "sous chef"!

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • ½ kg fresh vine leaves
  • ½ kg of rice
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • 2 cups chopped dill
  • 1 cup chopped mint
  • 3-4 chopped spring onions
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3-4 lettuce leaves chopped
  • 3 large onions grated
  • 2 large lemons, juice
  • salt & pepper
Remove the stem from vine leaves, wash and drain.
Put them in stacks of ten and each stack and put them for a few seconds in boiling water.
Their color will change with this scalding, don't be surprised.
Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in colander to drain.
This is repeated for all the leaves.
Rinse the rice 3-4 times and leave it in the bowl with some water to rise for 15 minutes.
Peel, wash and finely chop the spring onions, the dill, the mint, the lettuce leaves and the parsley.
Peel, wash and grate the onions and zucchini.
In a large bowl add the soaked rice, the cut vegetables, half of the olive oil, the juice of two lemons, salt and pepper.
Stir well and leave for 15 minutes to mix the flavors of the ingredients.

Filling Process

Take a leave and put it on a dish with the veins of the leaf facing up. This will be the inner side.
Put a spoonful of filing in the center.
Turn on the "ears" of the leaves to cover the filling.
Then cover with the sides of each leaf…
…and roll, not too tight, by rolling to the edge of each leaf.
Place them, with the join facing down, in a baking dish with a cover.
Add the remaining olive oil over the stuffed vine leaves, salt and pepper and if we prefer, put some more lemon juice. Add half a glass of water.
Cover the pan with a double sheet of greaseproof paper in contact with the stuffed leaves and put the lid.
If we do not have a pan with a lid, cover it using baking sheet or aluminum foil
Bake at 200°C/ 450°F/ Gas Mark 5 for 45 minutes.
Add some water if and when is needed.

Yoghurt Sauce

  • ½ kg/ 1.1 lbs yoghurt
  • ½ cup fresh spearmint, finely chopped leaves only
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder or ½ fresh clove crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
In deep bowl mix well all ingredients together, cover with transparent film and put the container in the refrigerator until serving.
Serve the cooked stuffed vine leaves, accompanied with the very tasty and fragrant yogurt sauce!
Stuffed Vine Leaves This way of cooking in the oven is very handy, especially when we make a large quantity of grape leaves.
Bake evenly without making the rice overly soft, especially in the lower layer of the pan. I think they are a lot tastier this way.
I use this method for many years now with great results!

Zambia Sifaki