A few years back, my great aunt gave me some cookbooks. They were mostly herbal/hippie books that didn’t have any pictures. I’m a sucker for a pretty recipe book. These were not pretty and the majority of the recipes looked weird…which is saying a lot coming from the girl who puts Swiss chard in everything. But one book caught my attention: The Green Thumb Cookbook. It organizes the recipes by garden produce. Seemed like a book worth keeping, considering the huge garden in the back yard.
Keeping that book was definitely worth it when I discovered this recipe. It’s by far our favorite way to eat cabbage. It’s so sweetly savory. The combination of tomatoes and cabbage, with a bit of beef in there too, is so tasty. I’ll also let you in on a little secret. There will be tomato-y juices leftover. Store those juices in a jar in the freezer, labeled “for soup”, and the next time you whip up a pot of stew, throw in those juices. Delicious. I actually do this with a lot of random leftover bits and juices. My soups are never the same!
I will not lie and say this dish is easy. While the steps aren’t complicated, it takes some time to remove the cabbage leaves and roll them up. But it’s well worth it. I think you’ll love it.
The green beans are in now. I’m off to find a recipe in that cookbook which features the crunchy things. I’ll let you know if I find one that’s not weird.
Savory Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Adapted from The Green Thumb Cookbook, page 63
1 medium head cabbage
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 T uncooked brown rice
2 T chopped fresh parsley (2 t dried)
2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 3/4 cups plain tomato sauce
1 cup canned tomato chunks
2 T honey
1/2 cup grated Colby cheese, optional
Put the head of cabbage in a pot. Cover with water. Remove the cabbage and bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Submerge the whole head of cabbage in the boiling water and cover. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown the beef and onion. Turn off the heat. Add the rice, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg.
When the cabbage is done “cooking”, remove it from the water onto a cookie sheet with sides (to catch any remaining water). Very carefully, remove 12 leaves. Cut the thickest part of center rib out of each leaf, about 1 or 2 inches. There will be a little V in the middle of each leave. Divide the meat filling between the leaves and roll up jelly roll fashion, but tucking in the ends so the filling stays put. Place the rolls in a deep casserole dish.
Pour the tomato sauce, tomato chunks, and honey over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350 for about an hour and a half. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese, and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let set a few minutes before serving.
Serves: 4 – 6