Pick leaves early in their growth period, that is early summer, when vines are covered with leaves.
Choose leaves of medium light colour, not too young. If vines have been sprayed, wait for period recommended for general harvest by manufacturer of insecticide. When picking, snip off stem.
Wash leaves and stack in piles of 24, with shiny side up. Roll up and tie with string.
Bring 8 cups water to the boil with 1/4 cup salt. Drop in 4 bundles at a time, return to the boil and blanch for 3 minutes, turning rolls over to blanch evenly. Lift out and drain. Repeat with remaining rolls.
Make a brine with 8 cups water boiled with 1 cup rock salt.
Pack rolls upright into warm sterilized jars and pour hot brine over leaves. Remove air bubbles and seal when cold.
Brine is sufficient for 20 bundles of leaves. Increase accordingly to quantity being preserved.
From: "The Complete Middle East Cookbook" by Tess Mallos. ISBN: 1 86302 069 1
Typed for you by Karen Mintzias