Lately, I have been using a powder made from blanched, dried and ground grape vine leaves as a spice and flavouring. It has a deep red grape, woody flavour. We use grape leaves in cooking – e.g. dolmades, cheese wrapped in grape vine leaves, casseroles and baked dishes lined with grape leaves – AND that they dry easily, so I thought that powdering them might work. It does. It is still an experiment and work in progress, but I am sharing the beginnings with you.
It goes well mixed with ghee and stirred through rice, sprinkled over feta cheese, and scattered over vegetables before they are roasted. Mixed with salt it is an excellent seasoning and into yoghurt as you make a sauce, dressing or dip. It is an interesting umami type flavour.
Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goats Cheese and Pine Nuts, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, Burghul Dolmas, Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, Grilled Pecorino in Grape Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Cooked in Grape Vine Leaves.
dried grape vine leaves
Grape Vine Leaf Powder
Take some grape vine leaves that have not been sprayed – the younger ones – 2 or 3 dozen. Use more if you want to make a larger batch of powder.
Cover the leaves with boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove them one at a time, cut off the stem with a scissors, and place on tea towels to dry. Allow to dry until crispy – it will take most of the day in the sunshine or a warm window.
Powder them using a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container and use as a spice or seasoning.
recipe notes and alternatives
Some vine leaves might dry more quickly than others. Be prepared to leave the leaves for additional time if not completely dry.