Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
1 medium cabbage
1 cup green lentils, dry
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil (or less)
2 cups water or broth
1.5 c wild rice mix or brown rice, dry
2.75 c vegetable stock/broth
2/3 c golden raisins (optional)
¼ c catsup
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons thyme, separated
salt & pepper
1. Bring an 8 quart pot of well salted water to a boil.
2. Submerge cabbage into boiling water.
3. As leaves begin to pull away from the head of the cabbage, pull or cut them. Dunk them into a ice bath to stop the cooking process; drain. Repeat until all of the usable cabbage leaves are removed. (Remaining cabbage may be shredded and put into the pan with the cabbage rolls during baking.)
Reserve 1-2 Cups of ‘cabbage broth’
Combine rice and stock in a 2 quart sauce pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to LO for 20-25 minutes (or according to package directions). Or Prepare rice in a rice cooker according to your usual method.
Upon completion, set aside to cool.
1. Heat a 3 quart sauce pan, add olive oil, garlic and onion.
2. Saute on medium heat until onions begin to become translucent.
3. Add lentils (dry) and toast them for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
4. Add vegetable stock, bring to a gentle boil.
5. Reduce to LO and cook until lentils are soft, but still have some ‘tooth’ to them (think al dente), 20-25 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Combine cooked rice, cooked lentils with onions and garlic, and raisins (if using) in a large bowl. Add catsup, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling Cabbage Rolls
1. Lay a blanched cabbage leaf flat on a cutting board.
2. Place a generous dollop of rice-lentil filling at the ribbed edge of the cabbage leaf.
3. Roll tightly, cigar style.
4. Place in a 9x13 pan (prepared with Pam spray).
Repeat until all leaves are filled.
THEN... 5. Pour 1 can crushed tomatoes over all cabbage rolls.
6. Add reserved cabbage water to pan along with tomatoes for additional moisture.
7. Sprinkle 2 tsp thyme and a few twists of fresh ground pepper over the tomatoes.
8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour or until tomato sauce at the edges of the pan are bubbling and cabbage rolls are hot all the way through.
Serve hot, with tomato broth.
Adjust seasoning according to your own taste – I tend to under salt my cabbage rolls and then add it at the table.