Cabbage is a vegetable that tends to be used most often just for coleslaw. We might steam it as a side-dish, but there’s not much else that we can do with cabbage. It’s a great vegetable that contains plenty of nutrients and even fiber. Many nutritionists encourage us to eat more vegetables like cabbage, since it’s been found to reduce the risks of some forms of cancer.
I have a recipe to pass along that makes great use of this vegetable that doesn’t get a lot of use! “Cabbage Rolls” is an old recipe that’s been around, but not many people prepare it. Some cooks feel that it’s a lot of work and too time-consuming. This recipe is easy to do and it simmers for at least two hours. This would enable you to prepare it while you do other things around the house. This would be a good dish to make in a slow-cooker. Start it early in the morning and let it cook all day. When you return home later in the day, just add a salad, bread and a dessert and that squares away dinnertime! This would be perfect to take to a pot-luck dinner you may be going to at some point, as it would be something good and different.
You’ll need a large head of cabbage for this recipe, but you only use the large leaves. Examine the outer leaves and discard any leaves that appear discolored or damaged. You’ll need about eight leaves, which you blanch in boiling water for two minutes. A meat mixture is combined and formed into balls. One of the balls is placed on one cabbage leaf and folded and sealed, securing it with toothpicks. Once all the leaves are stuffed, they’re layered in a deep Dutch oven along with sauerkraut, tomatoes and tomato juice. The original recipe says to add water to bring the liquid to the edge of the top layer, but I found I don’t need to add it, since the tomato juice appears to be sufficient.
These simmer for about two hours, but can simmer longer, if desired. When ready, they are topped with sour cream and you’re good to go. Make sure to let those you serve this to that there are toothpicks that they’ll need to remove prior to cutting into the bundle!
Another good cabbage recipe is one I gave last year for “Cabbage Stroganoff”, which is another creative way to use this vegetable. Here’s the link to it if you don’t already have it:
Let’s make this old favorite that uses cabbage in a different way, simply by following this recipe:
- 8 large cabbage leaves from 1 large head cabbage
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 teaspoons cold butter, sliced into small bits
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups sauerkraut
- 2 cups tomatoes
- 28 ounces tomato juice
- water, if needed
Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften. Drain and cool. Mix onion, butter, ground beef, ground pork, rice and seasonings together. Form into eight balls. Wrap a leaf around a ball of the meat and secure with toothpicks.
In a large Dutch oven, place a layer of cabbage rolls and a layer of sauerkraut. Repeat. Pour tomatoes and tomato juice over the top. If needed, add just enough water to bring liquid to the edge of the top layer, but do NOT cover completely with liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer at least two hours until rice and meat are thoroughly cooked. Serve with sour cream over the top. This dish freezes well. Yield: 8 servings.