Food glossary

A variety of leaves

Vine leaves

Tender dark green vine leaves are popular in a variety of Eastern European and Middle Eastern dishes. They have a subtle acidic flavour and a soft texture, similar to spinach, when cooked.

Uses: Vine leaves can be consumed as a vegetable, but they are usually filled with a meat or rice-based vegetarian stuffing to make parcels known as dolmades.

To store: Keep in a cool place. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 2 days. Consume by the best before date.

To prepare: Drain the vine leaves and rinse in cold water. Drain again and lay out to dry on kitchen paper. Take a leaf and place 1 tsp of your chosen filling just above the base of the leaf. Fold the base of the leaf over the filling, then fold in the sides and then roll to the end of the leaf so you have a neat parcel.

To cook: Arrange the stuffed leaves in a single layer in a shallow pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer over a very low heat for 2 hours.