Still called Ampelofylla yemista, the vine leaf is a dish passed down from generation to generation in the Greek culture. It is a dish with a unique taste and magical flavors that can be found at every table in the country. Its form varies from one island to another, but the most common is the stuffed vine leaf. We give you here the recipe to make it.
History of the vine leaf
According to a myth, the vine leaf refers to the Greek god Dionysus, whom the Romans still call Bacchus, the god of the vine.
Legend has it that on a trip to India, the god Dionysus discovered a leaf and some spices that the Romans used to drink wine from. He then decided to take them with him. After a few years, men and other gods discovered the many virtues of this leaf. So they adopted it, and honored it at their feasts. These feasts lasted six days and were open to everyone.
Each person brought food that was cooked with vine leaves in large pots. It is from here that the vine leaf became a famous dish in Greece.
Preparation of the Greek vine leaf
The preparation of this dish can take about 1 hour 20 minutes. As ingredients, you will need:
- vine leaves;
- 1 kg of ground beef ;
- 300 g of white rice ;
- mint leaves;
- 1 crushed garlic clove ;
- 1 onion ;
- 1 large tomato ;
- 1 glass of water ;
- 1 lemon ;
- olive oil;
- salt and pepper.
To obtain a tasty vine leaf dish, the first thing to do is to cut the tail of a leaf and boil it in salted water for 8 minutes. Once this period is over, drain it.
Then, dip the leaf in ice water and drain it again. At the end of this process, take the vine leaf and put it on absorbent paper.
Put a frying pan on the fire and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat for 30 seconds and add onion and tomato after chopping. Add the meat, crushed garlic and rice and stir.
Now add water, salt and pepper to season to your taste. Simmer for 20 minutes. A few minutes before the end of the cooking time, cut the mint leaves into thin slices and pour them into the mixture along with the lemon juice.
Finally, place the vine leaf on a tray so that the veins are facing you. Pour in a teaspoon of the mixture you obtained earlier.
Now you’ll need to bring the bottom of the sheet up to cover it, then fold both sides of the sheet toward the middle and roll it up to the top of the sheet.
Finally, put the remaining dry vine leaves in a saucepan and add a little water. Then add your stuffed grape leaf and cook for 80 minutes. Your dish is ready. Let cool and enjoy.