Aine McAteer's Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
Recipe created by Aine McAteer
Ingredients
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • Tamari , to taste
  • Grated Parmesan (optional)
Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

With a small, sharp knife, cut the base off the head of cabbage so the leaves will separate. Immerse the cabbage in the boiling water for about 5 minutes—the leaves should slide off easily. Remove 12 outer leaves and trim the thick stalk so they're easy to roll. Shred about 1/3 of the remaining head of cabbage to put in filling.

Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the shallots and garlic with a pinch of sea salt for about a minute. Add the carrot, zucchini and continue to sauté for several minutes. Add the currants, rice, dill, parsley and pine nuts, and drizzle with tamari to suit your personal taste.

Place about 1/4 cup of the mixture on the stalk end of a cabbage leaf and roll up, tucking in the edges to make a cylinder.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lay the stuffed leaves in a casserole dish and top with tomato sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. If you eat cheese, you can remove the foil after 30 minutes of cooking and sprinkle with some grated Parmesan, then continue to cook without foil for 10 minutes.

Serve one or two as an appetizer, or more if using as a main course.


Variations:
  • You can add ground turkey or chicken breast. Simply add the meat while you're sautéing your vegetables. In this case, you need less rice—maybe 1 1/2 cups meat and 1 cup rice.
  • You could also add crumbled firm tofu or minced seitan to the mixture.
  • You can use vegetables of your choice—onion, leek, celery, corn, peas, pepper and squash are some possibilities. I've made it with onion, celery, red and yellow pepper.
  • Vary the seasonings. Other fresh herbs can be used in place of dill, such as basil, sage or cilantro. You could also use dried herbs. Fresh or dried chili can be added to spice it up a bit. You can add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to the mixture or 1 teaspoon of hot sauce or sweet chili sauce.
  • Raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots can be used in place of the currants, and in place of the pine nuts, you can use toasted chopped almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds.