Yum

This recipe takes me back to my roots. I can almost see my grandfather, Chef Benjamin Bimstein, preparing these rolls at our family feasts. Popular throughout Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and a cornerstone of Jewish cooking for possibly 2,000 years, they traditionally include meat.

Recipe Courtesy of The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe by Chef Mark Reinfeld.

Ingredients

1 large green cabbage

RICE
¾ cup white basmati rice (for a variation on this dish, use brown rice, millet, or quinoa)
1 ½ cups vegetable stock or water
½ teaspoon sea salt

FILLING

1 tablespoon oil
¾ cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
4 ounces of tempeh or extra firm tofu, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon seeded and diced hot chile pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)

SAUCE

3 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon fresh minced dill (optional)
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the very bottom portion off of the cabbage. Carefully peel away 6 to 8 of the largest leaves. Place a steamer basket in a large pot with approximately one inch of water over high heat. When the water boils, add the cabbage leaves and cook until just soft, approximately 5 minutes. Carefully remove the leaves and place on a plate to cool.
  2. Place another pot over medium high heat. Add the rice, vegetable stock, and salt if using, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, onion, and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tempeh and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently and adding small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, and adding small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat.
  4. When the rice is done cooking, add to the sauté pan and mix well.
  5. Place the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Place 1/4 of the sauce in a well-oiled 8 x 8-inch casserole dish.
  6. Create your cabbage rolls by placing a small amount of filling at the center of each cabbage leaf, towards the bottom. Fold in the sides and roll tightly away from you. Place in the casserole dish. Top with the remaining sauce. Cover and bake for 10 minutes.