Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

Let me say right off the bat that this is a very approximate recipe, and since I made it up as I went along there are no precise measurements. I made four large rolls on the stove top and ate two before I even thought of taking a photo. They are good!
I used a variety of cabbage that here is called "Cavolo Verza Riccio" and it is the one in the third photo from the top here. It's the cabbage I've been using since I arrived here and I really like it.
This is what I did:

1. I boiled some generic variety of white short grain rice (not Basmati, not Arborio).

2. I briefly sauteed onions, garlic and a tiny bit of red pepper flakes and to this I added a can of chopped tomatoes and their sauce, 3 bay leaves, and salt. When the sauce was partially cooked I added some sliced white mushrooms and let them cook.

3. In the meanwhile I placed the four large outer leaves of the cabbage, from which I had pared away the toughest upper part of the stem, in boiling water - one at a time - for a minute or so, then let them drain.

4. I mixed the rice with a couple of eggs, grated Rodez cheese (you can use Parmigiano or Pecorino), some diced provolone (mozzarella would be good, but I didn't have any), a bit of the sauce (onions, garlic and all), and a pinch of cumin. Since I decided to add the mushrooms as an afterthought, they did not go into the rice mix, but it would have been even better with them in there.

5. I placed some of the rice mixture into each leaf, rolled it up and closed it with a couple of toothpicks.

4. To the sauce I added some water and half of a vegetarian organic bouillon cube, broken up into tiny pieces because the organic ones do not melt easily. I then placed the the rolls in the sauce, spooned some of the sauce on top of the rolls, put on the lid and let them cook on rather low heat, for maybe 30 minutes. I kept checking and adding a bit of water when necessary.

These are not small rolls, as you may be able to tell from the photo, because those leaves are large, so each roll is about 4 to 4.5 inches long. I had no problem eating two, and am trying to hold out till dinner before I eat the other two!

I don't know if it's this variety of cabbage or the bay leaves that grow in my back yard and smell a lot like cinnamon, but whenever I combine this cabbage with those leaves, the result is yummy! It's a small shrub that grows right at the base of an olive tree, and I want to try to propagate it by cuttings, because I've never smelled bay leaves quite like it.
Let me know if you try it and if you make any vegetarian modifications. I think something having to do with walnuts would be good....


Anonymous said...

this looks very tasty. Those cabbage leaves remind me of chard leaves. Maybe, just maybe, that would be a way for me to eat chard, to stuff it with your mixture.

Anonymous said...

It would surely be more tasty just by adding walnuts on it, as it pleasantly adds sweet in taste.

anna maria said...

dk and nelson, thanks for the visit. Walnuts sound like a good idea and I love them!