|Baked Cabbage Plated|
As I said in my New (fruit & veggie) Year post, I plan to explore my Polish heritage in my cooking this year. This is the first recipe I've tried from The Illustrated Food & Cooking of Poland, Russia & Eastern Europe, and it's incredibly delicious. The cookbook is divided into three regions, and this recipe is from the Romanian, Bulgarian, and East Adriatic region. However, the taste reminds me of my grandmother's traditional Polish Galumkis (stuffed cabbage leaves)--except that this is a vegan recipe that doesn't require the fuss and long preparation time that Galumkis do. Plus, this recipe is extremely economical. What's not to like? This would be a great potluck dish: attractively presented, tasty, and inexpensive. Corning makes a baking dish with insulated carrying case that will keep it warm for hours.
This recipe uses the core of the cabbage as well as its leaves. According to the author, the core is “where much flavour resides,” and allowing the cabbage to "sweat" brings out even more flavor. Use firm and ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, as the recipe specifies, to compliment the cabbage with a full tomato flavor. And since there are so few ingredients, it's best to use a flavorful broth (you don't need much). I used Imagine organic vegetable broth, which is very rich and tasty. The chili taste is very mild, and you could add other herbs or spices if you like. Enjoy!
|After "Sweating" Cabbage Add Tomatoes & Broth|
serves about 8
1 green or white cabbage, about 1 ½ lbs.
1 tbsp. light olive oil
2 tbsp. water
3 – 4 tbsp. vegetable broth or stock
4 firm, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. mild chili powder
1 tbsp. chopped parsley or fennel, to garnish (optional)
3 firm, ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Finely shred the leaves and core of the cabbage, or slice very thinly. Heat oil with water in a frying pan (we used the electric frying pan) and add cabbage. Cook over very low heat to allow cabbage to sweat, about 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
Add stock and stir in tomatoes. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, raising heat to simmer. Stir occasionally. Season with chili powder and a little salt.
Scoop cabbage mixture into an ovenproof dish (9” x 13”). Level the surface of the cabbage and arrange sliced tomatoes on the top. Brush tomatoes with olive oil to keep them from drying out. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until tomatoes are just starting to brown. Serve hot with a little parsley or fennel sprinkled over the top, if desired.