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Saturday, August 13, 2022

With the exception of the laborious preparation, the best parts of stuffed cabbage

Classic filled cabbage recipes may be made in a variety of ways, although none of them are very simple.

Traditional filled cabbages are labours of love, whether they’re the sweet and sour cabbage rolls of my Eastern European relatives or a meaty French chou farci, and they’re meals I’m delighted to encounter but seldom think to prepare myself.

This is not the case with this recipe, which is a variant of a different sequence. It’s a rustic spin on a classic that’s crisp-edged and crunchy, intensely flavorful, and maybe even a bit seductive. It takes minutes rather than hours to prepare (for cabbage, that is).

To prepare the individual cabbage leaves, traditional recipes ask for separating them, blanching them, wrapping them around a filling, and cooking them again. Raw cabbage wedges are chopped into wedges and stuffed with a spicy filling that is massaged into the lacy crevices of the cabbage. Once this is done, the entire item is roasted until the top is charred and the bottom is transformed into something silky and delicious.

Every mouthful is infused with the flavour of the filling, which is made up of umami-rich anchovies and Parmesan cheese, as well as chopped walnuts for body. The cabbage to filling ratio, on the other hand, is definitely in favour of the cabbage. This is precisely what avid aficionados of the veggie, like as me, are looking for.

Once you’ve mastered the fundamental technique, it’s simple to modify the filling. You may use any other nut — or even cooked grains such as rice or farro — in place of the walnuts if you like. Other hard grating or crumbly cheeses may be used in lieu of the Parmesan; feta is on my list of cheeses to explore next time I make this.

To make room for those contentious little taste bombs, anchovies may be replaced with anything spicy and salty to provide some much-needed zip to the dish. Take use of fresh ingredients like as finely chopped capers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or even a few tablespoons of flaked canned tuna.

Just be sure to use enough of extra-virgin olive oil while cooking. It aids in the browning of the cabbage wedges while also transporting the tastes of the filling to the cabbage leaves, allowing them to be properly absorbed.

Alternatively, you might serve it as a reasonably light, meatless main meal with noodles, rice, or crusty bread on the side. Alternatively, serve it as a substantial side dish with roast chicken or fish. If you don’t have any leftovers, it’s almost as excellent at room temperature or even cold from the fridge if you do. This makes for an even simpler lunch the following day if you make this quick meal.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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