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Pickled Vineyard Shoots

Pickled Vineyard Shoots

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Pickled vineyard shoots, also known as “ampelokorfades or ampelovlastara toursi” in Greek cuisine, are a traditional Mediterranean delicacy made from the young shoots or tendrils of grapevines.

These tender, edible shoots are typically harvested in the spring when they are still young and tender. They are then pickled or preserved in a mixture of water, vinegar, salt, and various spices and herbs.

The process of making pickled vineyard shoots involves blanching the shoots in boiling water to remove their bitterness, followed by the pickling process to preserve and flavour them.

The resulting pickled vineyard shoots have a tangy, slightly sour taste from the vinegar, complemented by the savoury flavours of the herbs and spices used in the pickling brine.

Pickled vineyard shoots are often enjoyed as a meze or appetizer in Greek cuisine. They can be served on their own as a flavourful snack or added to salads, sandwiches, or various dishes to provide a unique and tangy flavour.

Of course, these tender shoots can also be cooked with various types of meat, such as pork, rooster, rabbit, goat etc., or stewed with legumes.

The pickled shoots are a seasonal delicacy, typically available in the spring and early summer when grapevines are producing new growth.

pickled grape shoots ampelokorfades toursi image

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.

Tender vine leaves image

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.

Vineyard shoots image

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.

Preparation of the pickled vineyard shoots image

Pickled Vineyard Shoots

Ingredients:

  • 750 grams vineyard shoots
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 grams red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated black pepper

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Put them in a 1 litre jar.   In a bowl add, pepper, olive oil, vinegar and garlic and mix.
  3. Pour on top of the shoots until they are covered.  If they are not covered add more vinegar or olive oil.
  4. 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.  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.

pickled grape shoots ampelokorfades toursi image

Pickled Vineyard Shoots

Yield: 1 litre
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Pickled vineyard shoots, also known as "ampelokorfades or amplelovlastara toursi" in Greek cuisine, are a traditional Mediterranean delicacy made from the young shoots or tendrils of grapevines.

Ingredients

  • 750 grams vineyard shoots
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 grams red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated black pepper

Instructions

  1. Blanch the vineyard shoots in hot salted water for ten minutes. 
  2. Remove in cold water, sprinkle with salt and let them drain well.
  3. Squeeze out any excess water.
  4. Put them in a 1 litre jar.   In a bowl add, pepper, olive oil, vinegar and garlic and mix.
  5. Pour on top of the shoots until they are covered.
  6. If they are not covered add more vinegar or olive oil.
  7. Seal and place in a cool place. 
  8. Let them sit for at least a week before eating.
Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 2015Total Fat 216gSaturated Fat 30gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 180gCholesterol 0mgSodium 627mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 1g

"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."

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Other similar recipes:

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Pickled cherries

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How to preserve vine leaves

Collage Pickled Vineyard Shoots image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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alison

Tuesday 31st of May 2011

very,very interesting!i see this for the first time,i'm so surprized! My recent post MUFFINS CU COCOSCOCONUT MUFFINS

Kalinda

Monday 30th of May 2011

The shoots are beautiful. I don't think I'd ever be able to find something like vine shoots here in Chicago. Just jarred vine leaves for me. :-/ I bet these are very tasty. My recent post Pasta e Fagioli Pasta and Beans

Ivy

Monday 30th of May 2011

Hi Kalinda and thank you for passing by. This is the great thing about blogging. We learn about the habits of other cultures and if it is appealing we can try it as well.

Peter G

Monday 30th of May 2011

Interesting Ivy! I'v never seen them before. The toursi does sound delicious though! My recent post Photo Friday-Street side chicken

tasteofbeirut

Sunday 29th of May 2011

How interesting Ivy! I am not sure if these shoots are used in Lebanon; I need to find out! The philosophy is the same though, to use everything that is edible. My recent post A Brazilian sandwich

Nadji

Saturday 28th of May 2011

Une recette des plus intéressantes. Je ne connais pas du tout. Je note. A très bientôt. My recent post Acras au surimi

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