Vine leaves wrapped, also known as dolmades, are a traditional dish made with the leaves of grape vines filled with a mixture of rice, herbs and meat or vegetables. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. They can be eaten cold as a meze or appetizer, or hot as a main course.
They are also used to make herbal tea. Fresh or dried, they can be steeped in a pot of boiling water just like any other herbal tea. Vine leaf tea is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties and mild flavor.
Several research studies indicate that grape leaves have many health enhancing benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, phenolic acids and vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium and magnesium. It has been reported that regular consumption of grape leaves helps to protect against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity [1, 2].
In a study, aqueous and alcoholic extracts of V. coignetiae Pulliat leaves demonstrated hepatoprotective effects in an animal model of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with the reduction of AST, ALP, and GGT activities and increase in plasma antioxidants . Moreover, conventional and organic leaf extract of V. vinifera shows neuroprotective effects in the cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum of rats subjected to carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stress by reducing the protein oxidation index and increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase activity compared with the control group.
To prepare the leaves for stuffing, wash them and remove the stems. Place a leaf, shiny side down on a flat surface, and add a teaspoon of filling at the bottom section of the leaf, towards the center. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and roll up tightly. Repeat the process for all the leaves. When ready to cook, put the stuffed leaves in a pan, seam side down. Pour the lemony mix over them (there should be enough to cover them completely). Place an inverted plate or pan on top of them to hold them in place and simmer for around 30 minutes. ملفوف ورق عنب