Stuffed Cabbage Leaves with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce

A great way of serving up cabbage, with a difference.

Ingredients


  • 1 head of savoy cabbage, spring cabbage
  • filling:
  • 1 large onion (peeled and diced fine)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 250 g mushrooms (chopped fine)
  • 50 g pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (or bulgar, cous cous, quinoa)
  • 100 g cheddar cheese grated (optional)
  • tomato sauce:
  • 1 onion (peeled and diced fine)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (1lb) tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tblsp agave syrup (or brown sugar or honey)
  • red wine vinegar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Prepare the cabbage. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Discard the tough outer leaves of cabbage. Carefully separate the leaves and cut out the hard stalks with a sharp knife. Blanch the leaves in batches of 3/4 for 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl of cold water until all the leaves have been blanched. Drain and pat dry with a tea towel. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and over a medium heat fry the onion for 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, season with salt and fry until the liquid from the mushrooms has been reduced. Stir in the chopped sage and thyme. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pine nuts, cheese. There will be some leaves from the centre of the cabbage that will be too small to stuff. Chop them fine and add to the filling. Season.
  3. Make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry the onion until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, sweetener, allspice, pinch of sea salt and 1 tin of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar until an even sweet and sour taste has been reached. Spoon a layer of sauce into an oven proof dish.
  4. Stuff the prepared cabbage leaves. Place a tablespoon of filling onto the leaf and fold over the sides and roll up. Place seam side down on top of the sauce in the oven proof dish. As the leaves become smaller use less filling so that the parcels do not burst. Pack the parcels close together. Cover with another layer of sauce. Cover with tin foil and place in a preheated oven at 180°C (350F/Gas 4) for 1 hour.




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