Stuffed cabbage leaves

Stuffed cabbage leaves

stuffed cabbage leaves

Stuffed cabbage leaves

These stuffed cabbage leaves can be cooked either on the hob or in an oven. They are very similar to the Turkish dolmas. Dolma in Turkish means stuffed. Vine leaves are commonly used and rolled into cigar-shaped parcels stuffed with a spicy, rice-based mixture but you can also use cabbage leaves, or even hollow out vegetable like courgettes, tomatoes or aubergines.

I’d been picking the outer cabbage leaves and was going to give them to the chickens when I remembered the recipe I used to make for dolmas with the vine leaves at our old house. The recipe I used is based on the one in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book VEG.

stuffed cabbage leaves

Stuffed cabbage leaves

INGREDIENTS:
2 or 3 green cabbage leaves per person (depending on the size)

RICE STUFFING:
120g brown rice, cooked
1 large onion, finely chopped;
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large egg
a handful of dried fruit (e.g. cherries, sultanas, etc.)
a handful of walnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
grated zest of one lemon
salt and pepper
olive oil

TOMATO SAUCE:
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g tin tomatoes
360g fried tomato
oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil

METHOD:
If you are going to bake these, then heat the oven to 180ºC.

To prepare the cabbage leaves, pare off the thick stem of the cabbage leaves using vegetable peeler or a knife. Bring some water to the boil in a wide frying pan with a lid. Blanch the cabbage leaves in the water for 3-4 minutes each one, making sure that the stems are thoroughly immersed. Transfer to a colander as they are cooked.

tomato sauce stuffed cabbage leaves

Tomato sauce for the stuffed cabbage leaves

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan or oven-proof dish if you are going to cook them in the oven. Add the onion and fry gently until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute before adding the tomato, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and leave to simmer until you need it.

stuffed cabbafe leaves

Filling for stuffed cabbage leaves

To make the filling, heat some olive oil in another frying pan, add the onion and fry gently until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Put the rice in a bowl and add the onion/garlic and all the other filling ingredients and mix well.

stuffed cabbage leaves

Stuffed cabbage leaves

Lay out the cabbage leaves on a flat surface and put a dollop of the rice mixture on each one. Fold over the sides and roll up, starting with the stem end. Place the parcels in the tomato sauce and cook for about 30 minutes.

stuffed cabbage leaves

Stuffed cabbage leaves