It’s been quite a long time I hadn’t been at the farmers’ market as the past weeks we have been going to Nafplion on Tuesdays, when it’s the day we have our farmers’ market. Last Tuesday when we visited we stayed overnight and I knew that on Wednesdays there is a farmers’ market in Nafplion but I didn’t manage to go there as well as we had so many things to do.
The reason I wanted to go is that this time of the year is when I buy lots of vine leaves, which I wash and freeze to have all year round. The best time to buy them is around end of April or early May, when they are still tender and not very big, but the first ones are quite expensive, around 12 – 15 Euros a kilo. This is the time when they are still tender but a lot cheaper and in a few weeks, they will become hard. Talking with some locals they told me that on our way back to Athens, just before Nemea, which is a wine producing area before Corinth I could find some stalls selling some. However, it was late when we stopped there and they told us that they sold out.
This week we did not go to Nafplion so this Tuesday I made it a priority to go and get some. When going to the farmers’ market, I usually first take a look around and compare prices before buying. The prices varied from 1.50 Euros to 2.50 Euros for 200 grams of leaves. At the end, buying so many things you can save between 10 – 15 Euros, each week.
Looking for the best price on vine leaves I found one stall selling vineyard shoots as well. Shoots are the new plants when growing which include stems, flowering stems with flower buds, and leaves. It was the first time I came across these shoots and did not know much about them. My husband was familiar with them as he told me his mother would cook them and they would eat them in salads as well as stewed with dried legumes.
I asked the lady behind the stall how to cook them and she explained that you just snap them and where it breaks you discard the broken part in the back and the remaining is tender and edible. She told me that you blanche them in salted water for ten minutes and you can eat them as a salad with olive oil and lemon juice, cook them with meat or dried legumes but you can also pickle them and have them for a very long time.
I love pickling vegetables so I told her to put a kilo. I kept some to cook with dried legumes and the remaining I pickled them according to her instructions.
When serving them, you don’t need to add anything else as the olive oil which floats above the vinegar will cover them when taking them out of the jar.
Ampelokorfades Toursi (Pickled Vineyard Shoots)
- 750 grams vineyard shoots
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 500 grams red wine vinegar
- Freshly grated black pepper
- Blanch the vineyard shoots in hot salted water for ten minutes. Remove in cold water, sprinkle with salt and let them drain well. Squeeze out any excess water.
- Put them in a 1 litre jar. In a bowl add, pepper, olive oil, vinegar and garlic and mix.
- Pour on top of the shoots until they are covered. If they are not covered add more vinegar or olive oil.
- Seal and place in a cool place. Let them sit for at least a week before eating.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, an event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, and now organized by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. This week it is hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs)
On another note, the poll for Creative Concoctions #4, Cooking with olive oil, is still on, until noon, tomorrow 27th May, 2011. Please vote for the most creative recipes and the top 2 recipes will win Greek Extra Virgin Olive oil. The poll is above google translator and takes a few minutes to upload. The new event will be announced by the end of the month.
If you would like to host an event please e-mail me or leave a comment. There are still a lot of bottles of extra virgin olive oil to send around the globe.
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How to preserve vine leaves
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,