To me it’s always exciting to see what each weeks CSA box will have to offer and this week was definitely a surprise. I picked up my box and it seemed as though I had everything there, I went to leave and was stopped by a fellow Master Gardener, “Wait, you get a cabbage too!” She wasn’t kidding … we got a cabbage that could feed a village!
I’m not a big cabbage eater but my grandmother makes a Gołąbki [stuffed cabbage] recipe so I figured I could give that a try. Unfortunately I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand for her recipe so I had to work with what I had and this is what I came up with:
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Medium head of Cabbage
- 6 pieces of bread; crust removed
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 lb italian sausage
- 1 small spring rosemary; finely chopped
- 1 small spring sage; finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parmesan freshly grated
- 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
First. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Discard any messy or broken outer cabbage leaves and carefully peel 12 nice, large leaves. Blanch leaves for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (you can do a few at at time), until wilted, and spread out on towels so that they dry and cool.
Next. Place bread scraps in bottom of large bowl and pour milk over. Let sit for a few minutes, then mash it gently with a spoon until something close to a paste forms. Mix with sausage meat, herbs, parmesan and a pinch or two of salt and black pepper; I find this easiest to do with bare hands.
Now. Lay your first cabbage leaf on the counter. If it doesn’t want to lay flat, cut away some of the thickest stalk to make it easier. Form some of the filling mixture into a golf ball-sized round. Wrap cabbage leaf around it and lay seam side down in your dish. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.
Lastly. To prepare your tomatoes, either break them up with your hands (for bigger chunks), run them through a food mill or roughly chop them right in their. In a heavy saute pan with a lid or a medium (5 to 6-quart) Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds (just until golden, then add the tomatoes, bringing the sauce to a gently boil. Season with salt if needed. Add cabbage rolls, arranging them carefully in the pan so they all fit, cover the pot and gently simmer them for 25 minutes. Carefully turn the rolls over, cooking them for another 25. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook off some of the wetness. Let the dish rest for another 15 minutes before eating them, the flavors settle and they become even better.
Still have left over cabbage? Make sauerkraut! It’s just shredded cabbage and salt! If you’re at a loss of what to do with your cabbage this spring I hope you enjoy these delicious stuffed cabbage rolls.