The large green leaves of the grapevine are often used by Greek and Middle Eastern cooks to wrap foods for cooking, as with dolmas. Grape leaves are not usually commercially available fresh so, unless you have a grapevine in your backyard, you'll probably have to buy canned grape leaves packed in brine. They should be rinsed before using to remove some of the salty flavor. Fresh grape leaves must be simmered in water for about 10 minutes to soften them enough to be pliable. In addition to wrapping foods, grape leaves can be used as decorations or garnishes, or in salads. Also called vine leaves.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.