Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

Last night, I tried my hands at vegetarian cabbage rolls. Although they were lacking a little in flavour, compared to their meaty cousins, they turned well. I steamed the cabbage leaves just enough to make them pliable and easy to handle. They rolled up nicely and the sauce was delicious.

Something needs to be added to make the filling more flavourful though- Perhaps basil, mushrooms, chiptole peppers...hmmm. Food for thought indeed.

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

rice (1 cup basmati rice, 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp caraway seeds, 1 2/3 cups water)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon oil and 1 tsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1 egg
pinch of oregano and cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Cabbage, cored and scalded in hot water until soft and easy to separate

2 teaspoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz or 796 ml) can tomatoes, pureed in the food processor
3/4 to 1 cup cream
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Place the cored cabbage in a large pot of simmering hot water until the leaves start to soften. Separate the cabbage leaves and remove the hard spine from each leaf. Spread on paper towels and pat dry. Set aside.

To make the stuffing, in a medium skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until very wilted and starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Make rice. Once the rice is cooked, add the onion mixture and cool. Then add grated carrot and zucchini, spices, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper... and anything else you can think of.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. One at a time, spoon a large spoonful of filling onto the leafy end of a cabbage leaf (opposite the core end). Roll each into a neat cylinder and place in a layer on the sauce in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the rolls are tender, about one hour.

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