A cabbage roll is a dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. It is common to the cuisines of Central, Northern, Eastern and Southeastern Europe and much of Western Asia, Northern China, as well as parts of North Africa.
Ingredients of Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1.4kg Head of Green Cabbage
- 28g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 50g Rice
- 50g Green Lentils
- 1 tsp Sea Salt divided
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 345g Cremini Mushrooms stems removed and sliced thick
- 46g Shallot small chop
- 40g Bread Crumbs
- 1 Tbs Tomato Paste divided
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Fist Full of Fresh Thyme divided
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
- Reserved Mushroom Soaking Liquid
- Dry White Wine
- Ground Black Pepper
How to make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Prepare the Cabbage:
- Take a pan and boil the cabbage for 10 minutes turning it over once 1/2 way through cooking since it will float. Remove the cabbage and set in a colander to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, gently remove the leaves. To do this, use a pairing knife to cut around the base of the stem. Set aside the torn leaves.
- The leaves closest to the core won’t fully soften, so if more leaves are needed, you can place these individually in the pot of hot water to soften or store the remaining head in the fridge to be later used in a another recipe.
For the Stuffing:
Rehydrate the Porcini: Place the porcini in a bowl. Scoop out 472g of that very hot water the cabbage is cooking in and pour over the porcini mushroom. Cover the mushrooms with a lid and rehydrate 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Squeeze out as much soaking liquid from the mushrooms as possible. Rough chop the mushrooms.
Cook the Lentils and Rice: In a small sauce pot bring water to a boil. Add 1/4 tsp salt, bay-leaf, lentils and rice. Turn heat to low, put a lid on the pot and cook for about 35-40 minutes, or until rice and lentils are tender.
Cook the Mushrooms: In a pan add two Tbs of olive oil, heat until shimmering then add all the mushrooms. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the shallots about 5 minutes before the mushrooms are done.
Process the Mushrooms: In a food processor, add the mushroom mixture, bread crumbs, 1 tsp of tomato paste, 1/2 tsp salt and fresh thyme leaves from about 7 stems. Pulse about 4 times, scrape down bowl and pulse again a few more times so that mixture comes together but is not pasty.
Mix the Stuffing: When lentils and rice are done, scoop the mushroom mixture into the sauce pot the rice and lentils were cooked in. Add about 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper. Stir well to combine.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line the dish with 3-4 cabbage leaves.
For the remaining cabbage leaves, if the stem is tough and won’t easily roll, cut a small notch out. Scoop about 40g of the mushroom mixture and place it near the base of the cabbage leaf. Gently fold in the sides and start rolling, tucking in the sides as needed.
Place in baking dish, seam side down, on top of the leaves. Repeat, adjusting the amount of filling as needed for smaller leaves, until all the filling is used.
Pour the sauce over and around the top of the rolls. The sauce should come just up the sides of the rolls. Drizzle white wine and/or veggie broth over the top as needed.
Give each roll a good few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of salt over the top. Lay 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme across the top.
Bake, uncovered for 50 minutes until the tops are a bit golden with some a little crispy. Remove from oven, discard crispy thyme leaves and let set for five minutes before serving. Sprinkle fresh thyme over the top before serving.