An Adventure In Cabbage (Cabbage Rolls)

Good. Lord. it’sbeenalongexhaustingweek. Sometimes I think I’m too awesome; that I have too much amazing for even me to contain.  Then I laugh and remember who we’re talking about here.  But I digress.  In short, this was a long work week with a lot going on and not a whole lot of time.  No cooking, no baking.  Just salads, leftovers, and take out (once).  Sadness.

Friday was well received.  No plans.  No commitments.  No obligations.  No nothing.

I had recently signed up for produce delivery service from Washington’s Green Grocer. Sadly, I had to cancel their service. The produce was great, but with demanding schedule a few too many items were spoiling before I could get to them. Alas. Perhaps some day in the future…

Boiling Cabbage

My last delivery with them included a large head of cabbage. I’ve never done much with cabbage, considering it to be the disappointing child of some kind of lettuce family (“Your brother Romaine made an excellent salad today. Why can’t you be more like him?”). This is probably heavily biased from my childhood when my mother would cook red cabbage in traditional German style. There was no escape from the horrid smell emanating from the kitchen. Guh.

Stuffing The Cabbage

Doing a little research on cabbage I eventually came across a dish called dolma; a rolled or stuffed cabbage. Remembering my recent discovery of the awesomeness that are stuffed grape leaves, I found my Friday plans. I decided to prepare a quasi-indian meal and create a rolled cabbage recipe from scratch (with a little inspiration from the wonder that is the internet).

Overall, I was pretty happy with the results of my concoction. The filling seemed weak until I added the lemon sauce; so that is something I will definitely explore in the future (and encourage you to as well). This recipe does not make full use of a head of cabbage, so either double/triple the recipe or save the cabbage for a soup or stew (I know I will).

Rolled Cabbage

Rolled Cabbage, quasi-indian style, with lemon sauce
Makes about five rolls of cabbage.

1 head of cabbage
1/2 cup red lentils, cooked and drained
1/2 cup curried rice, cooked
1 large carrot; chopped
1 large shallot; chopped (onion would work too)
2 cloves of garlic; minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
2 eggs
3 teaspoons of corn starch
1/4 cup of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Core the hard part of the cabbage (the stem mostly) from the base. Boil in a large pot of boiling, salted water. In about 5-10 minutes, when the leaves begin separating, remove from the pot, saving a one cup of the water. Let cool.

Sweat the the carrots, shallots, garlic and celery in a medium sized pot; about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, rice, lentils and spices. For lack of a better word, let “mingle” for 5 minutes on low heat then remove from heat.

Place approximately two heaping spoonfuls of the filling onto one end of a cabbage leaf. Roll, following the length of the stem, then fold over the other sides. Please the roll onto the baking pan. Repeat until no more filling.

Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes; until the leaves are tender. While roasting, prepare the lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce:
Whisk/mix the lemon juice and corn starch together. Bring the reserved water to a boil. Reduce the water to the lowest heat and add the lemon slurry. Beat the eggs in a small heatproof bowl and mix in the almost-lemon-sauce. Use this as a dressing. Enjoy

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2 Responses to “An Adventure In Cabbage (Cabbage Rolls)”

  1. My mother used to boil all of the gassy vegetables — Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage — and to this day I can remember the smell that filled the house. I’ve gotten over most of the aversion, but still cannot abide cauliflower, which I think smelled worst of all!

  2. Chef Edwin says:

    The memory of that smell will never leave me.