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Richard's Grape Leaves
Preserved Leaves

Richard Hagopian’s Preserved Grape Leaves

Richard Hagopian’s Preserved Grape Leaves



35 servings

Prep time:


Cook time:


Total time:



180 freshly-picked grape leaves
3 cups salt
6 quarts water
2 cups lemon juice
2 lemons, sliced


  • A roll of kitchen twine


  • Three wide-mouthed pickle jars (64 oz)


1. Align the grape leaf stems, and neatly layer the leaves in stacks of 20.
2. Roll each stack with the stems facing outward, and tie with the twine.
3. Blanch the rolls in boiling water for 10 seconds each, or long enough to see their color turn a darker shade of green.
4. Allow the blanched leaves to cool completely.
5. Prepare the brine by mixing the water, salt and lemon juice in a very large bowl.
6. Place three rolls in each of the pickle jars, and fill the jars with the brine using a ladle.
7. Top each jar with several lemon slices, and secure the jars by closing them tightly.
8. Place the pickle jars in the refrigerator until ready for use.


1. I used kosher salt in this recipe, but Richard says table salt will do just fine. If you go with the table salt, be sure to do the “egg test” to determine the right quantity, as it may vary slightly from how the kosher salt was measured. The “egg test” consists of dropping a raw egg in the salt water (before adding the lemon juice) to see if it will rise to the top. You have enough salt when the mixture is dense enough to allow the egg to float.
2. You can also flash-freeze the leaves for later use. Richard says to keep them aligned by the stems, but do not roll them up. Simply blanch them flat, drain, and freeze. An instructional reel for flash-freezing is also viewable on Instagram @julsarmeniankitchen.