Winter is officially here and eating seasonally in the winter can certainly be difficult. Well, difficult if you like variety that is. For the most part we’re reduced to vegetables that store well, like squashes and potatoes, along with hardy vegetables from the brassica genus: brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, etc. I’m not too strict with my efforts to eat seasonally during the winter months, I just like to keep it to a decent percentage of our consumption. It’s significantly easier the rest of the year.
Confession, I’m a cabbage roll n00b. I’ve never had them. I’ve been wanting to make cabbage rolls, but we’ve been out of ground beef for a while now -we buy beef in bulk. So I decided to give a vegetarian version of stuffed cabbage a go. This recipe would work as a main dish for a couple or as a side dish for a family over 4. This recipe also taught me that my version of “steam until just tender” and the source’s are quite different. Next time I’ll steam the cabbage until nearly limp.
If you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, don’t worry chicken stock works quite well.
Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage Recipe
- 8 leaves green cabbage, steamed until tender, but not falling apart
- 2 cups cooked rice (feel free to substitute brown, if that’s how you swing)
- 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
- 1 medium onion – diced (How to dice an onion)
- 1 bell pepper diced, preferably red or yellow
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 14.5oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce (L&P is gluten free in the US, but not in Canada, look for those made w/out malt vinegar)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp each: oregano, thyme, basil + a pinch each for the sauce
Preheat the oven to 325°F
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in the olive oil or butter. Add ½ teaspoon each of oregano, thyme, and basil. Cook until the onions are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice, then the beaten eggs.
One at a time, spoon the rice mixture into the center of a steamed cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaf around the mix and place in an oven safe casserole dish.
In the empty skillet, stir together the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, worcestershire and a small pinch each of oregano, thyme, and basil. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and bake for 45 minutes.