Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Stuffed Cabbage

The humble cabbage isn't a very sexy vegetable. Thankfully I'm not of the age that I'd remember the waft of it it being boiled to death in school cafeterias, but even it's name isn't particularly alluring. However, it's one of my favourite vegetables; I also love kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage of Korean origin.

Savoy cabbage seems to be the most versatile of the brassicas. It works well stir fried, creamed, in stews, in soups, and as I have just discovered, stuffed. In my aim to eat more vegetarian meals (I worry about my health...) I came across this recipe which I modified slightly.

It's very herb-heavy, perhaps to provide flavour that it lacks from meat. Dill isn't a herb I use a lot so I was keen to try it out. It results in a flavoursome filling, moistened nicely by the spicy tomato sauce and tempered by the soured cream.

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

For two (the linked recipe claims it serves four, but this cannot be...)

8 Savoy cabbage leaves, blanched and refreshed with the hard stem cut out

For the filling:

200gr cooked rice
3 tbsp each of dill, parsley and mint
1 leek, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
75gr pine nuts, toasted

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees. In a pan, heat up some oil and fry the leek, garlic and celery until softened. Add the rice and the herbs and season well. Take off the heat and fold in the pine nuts.

For the sauce:

1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp tomato puree
Large pinch of chilli flakes

Meanwhile, sweat the onion and the garlic in a saucepan until very soft. Add the chilli flakes, sugar, tomato puree and the tinned tomatoes and simmer until thickened.

To assemble, add about 3 heaped tablespoons of the ixture above the point of where the stem has been cut off. Fold the two sides over and roll into a parcel. Sit snugly in a baking dish, and ladle the sauce over the cabbage. Bake for 20 - 25 mins, and serve with a pat of soured cream.


Anonymous said...

That sounds interesting, I really cabbage and savoy is one of my favourites but I should try to be more versatile with it.

Anonymous said...

How bizarre, I was just thinking about making stuffed cabbage a couple of days ago. It seems we are on the same wavelength here. Apparently, populations with high cabbage consumption have higher life expectancies but I'm not sure where I read that. Anyway, it's another reason to feel good about eating cabbage!