Friday, 3 September 2010

Cabbage rolls

The cabbages are growing well.  We have been eating them fried with onions and raw, with soup,  and last night as cabbage rolls.  I make these when we have a lot of cabbage all at the same time.  I picked two on the day before yesterday and made the stuffing for them yesterday.
Stuffings for these sort of vegetables are many and varied,  but the one I use is like this...

250g mince (usually lamb)
100g arborio rice (short grained)
1 tomato without the skin, and chopped up
plenty of parsley (about a cupful here)
salt and pepper
about half a teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix and knead this all very well and stuff the cabbage leaves....

The cabbage leaves need to be carefully separated.  I dunk them into boiling water for a minute or so to make them soft... then into cold water and. if necessary, peel off the thick stalk on the back of the leaf... this makes it easy to roll without cracking.
Put about a tablespoon of the mixture onto the leaf, fold in the sides and roll them up... loosely,   because the rice will expand when it is cooked.

Put the outer rough leaves in a big saucepan, lining it so that the rolls are protected from the bottom of the pan or they might stick.  Put the rolls in, packing them quite closely so that they are supported all around.  Pour in water to just cover them,  add lemon juice, salt and pepper.  (I put the lemon skins in as well.)  Cook gently or about an hour.
We had these with sweet chili sauce,  but they go with any kind of sauce or pickles or other dishes.
I haven't done it often,  but for vegetarians, these can be made with cooked lentils or chick peas instead of meat.


Linda said...

My mum fries the rolls a little before boiling - seals the cabbage leaf a bit and adds flavour. We use large leaves, with the main rib trimmed and make much bigger rolls.

The cabbage rolls are then boiled in a fresh tomato and onion sauce.

These are of course eaten with boiled potatoes (Estonian recipe - potatoes are always essential :)

Jane said...

I'm going to try that... always open to suggestions.

This was originally a middle-eastern recipe, I think, but it is never quite the same from one time to the next.