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SARMALUTZE DIN FRUNZE DE VITZA (Grape Leaf Meat Rolls), Romanian

2 or 3 dozen grape leaves (May is the best month). They may be purchased in jars preserved in brine, at Greek, Armenian, etc. Stores. Other leaves may be used - suggestions below.

Pour boiling water over leaves to wilt, then rinse in cold water. If preserved leaves are used, just rinse in water. Fill each leaf with meat filling, roll and tuck in ends. On meatless days, use only rice, onions and raisins prepared in vegetable fat.


    Meat Filling

  • 2 tbsp, butter (or minced bacon)
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 1 lb. ground veal, beef or lamb
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (or more) rice
  • Minced parsley
  • Liquid Mixture

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • beef stock to cover rolls (bouillon cubes or plain water nay be used)
  • Salt
  • Minced parsley and dill
  • Grated rind of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • Juice from 1 lemon (optional)
  • Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. butter, or more
  • 1 tbsp. flour or more
  • 1/2 cup beef stock, or water
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp, heavy sour cream or yogurt
Preparation Instructions

Meat Filling

Melt butter or bacon, add minced onion and sauteé lightly, Add to meat, eggs, rice, salt, pepper and minced parsley, If you wish, you may add 2 slices white bread soaked in milk. Mix thoroughly and fill leaves. Arrange rolls in deep heavy pan and pour liquid mixture over them.

Cover pan and cook slowly over low heat at least 1 hour. When almost done add the sauce.


Melt butter, blend in flour, brown very slightly. Add stock slowly and cook over low flame until smooth stirring continuously. Pour over cooked meat rolls, shake pan a little to distribute sauce between rolls and cook slowly until done. Before serving pour lemon juice over rolls. Arrange rolls on platter and pour cream or yogurt over them. Serves 4.

Variations: Cabbage rolls, stuffed vegetable leaves, stuffed peppers (with tomato sauce), stuffed egg plants. zucchini, Kohlrabi, etc. as follows:

Contributed by Mrs. Frances Ocneanu, 1950

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