Tangy Vegan Stuffed Cabbage
When cabbage-meets-heat meets-lemon-meets-tomatoes, stars align. If your mouth started watering thinking about that caramelized, tart envelope of flavor, you’re in the right place. Read on.
Let me just start of by saying that growing up, cabbage was not my favorite. I used to think it was smelly. After getting married and craving the same familiar flavors i grew up on, i re-made my mom’s stuffed cabbage, but naturally added my own twist. Here you’ll see a mixture of regional styles, but i think i took the best of both worlds and made something pretty great.
Give it a try. Leave some love and your feedback below! If you make this recipe and post it on social media, use the hashtag #HHRecipes!
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1. 1 large head of white cabbage
2. 3 large tomatoes, 2 of them diced, 1 of them sliced into medium-thin rounds
3. 4 bunches of italian parsley, thinly shaved
4. 1/2 white onion, minced
5. 1/2 cup fresh dill, minced
6. 1 3/4 cups short grain rice
7.. 5 lemons, juiced
8. 1 cup olive oil
9. 2 tbsp salt
10. 1 tbsp cumin
11. 1/2 cup tomato paste
12. water to cover pot
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Use a sharp knife to carve out the stem of the cabbage. You can do this by inserting your knife deep into the cabbage in a square shape around the stem and wiggling your knife to loosen the stem out of the head of cabbage. The reason we do this is to ensure the leaves easily separate from the head of cabbage when we drop it in boiling water.
3. While your water is boiling, mix together your tomato, parsley, onion, dill, rice, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & cumin in a large bowl. This will be the stuffing for your cabbage. It is okay that you have extra “juice” in your bowl because this juice will be drizzled in your pot while the cabbage cooks.
3. Drop your whole head of cabbage into your pot of boiling water and allow the water to begin to loosen the outer layer of leaves. This will take about 3-5 minutes so be patient. Use a set of tongs and lightly tug at the outer layer leaves to pull them off and set them aside to cool. You will continue to do this step until you have loosened and removed all of the leaves from the cabbage. Keep in mind that there will be a core of the cabbage that is bound VERY tight, with small leaves that will not be worth rolling, but i use the leaves from the core to lay on the bottom of my pot as the outside cover for my rolled cabbage.
4. Once you’ve removed all of the cabbage leaves, use a large baking tray to begin rolling your cabbage. Cabbage leaves are simple to roll. Here are your steps- 1. lay the cabbage with the crevasse facing up. 2. fill your cabbage with 1 large tbsp of filling. 3. Simply begin rolling the cabbage tight. Do not worry about tucking the ends of the cabbage.
5. This is where we begin to layer the cabbage rolls into the pot. We’ll begin by layering the leftover, small pieces of cabbage that we couldn’t roll and place them on the bottom of a large, deep pot. Create a full sheet of cabbage covering the bottom, next layer your tomato rounds over the cabbage on the bottom of the pot, and finally layer the cabbage rolls as tightly as you can, one layer at a time, then stacked.
6. Once you’ve finished layering, mix together your water & tomato paste so that the paste dissolves and add enough of the mixture to cover to the top of the rolled leaves. Too much liquid will cause soggy, over-cooked leaves and too little will result in underdone and charred leaves. Finally, place a plate upside down over the rolled cabbage to keep them tight while they cook.
7. Cover the pot with a lid and put the temperature on low. Allow the leaves to cook slowly for 3 hours. Check the pot occasionally to ensure all of the liquid has not cooked away.
8. Once the leaves are done cooking ( i always taste to make sure they’re JUST right), remove the plate on top, place a large pan on top of the pot (upside down) and flip the pot over so the cabbage forms a “cake” in the pan.
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