There are only a few dishes that vividly remind me of my mom (who was not the world's biggest fan of cooking). Stuffed cabbage rolls is one of them. Even though I love cooking and practice it daily, I have not achieved the perfection that was her recipe. Unfortunately, I have not come across the recipe she used. I am going to have to keep plugging away until I can recreate them.
Here i used ground lamb, a meat my family really enjoys for it's brightness. Mixed with the excess eggplant in my garden, the savory is spot on and not too heavy. Come on this cabbage roll adventure with me and whip some up for yourself!
INGREDIENTS 1 head savoy cabbage For the filling: 1 T olive oil 2 cloves garlic 1 # ground lamb 1/2 c white rice, cooked 1/2 medium eggplant, diced 4 oz tomato sauce 1 T fresh thyme salt and pepper to taste for the sauce: 4 oz tomato sauce 3 c chopped roma tomatoes 1 T balsamic vinegar 1 t Italian sausage Parsley and Parmesan
DIRECTIONS 1. To prepare the cabbage leaves, cook the cabbage head in boiling water for about 8 minutes. Carefully remove from the pot, cool slightly and delicately remove whole leaves. Stack on paper towels to drain. Set aside. 2. Prepare the filling; heat oil in non stick skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook until fragrant. Add lamb, cook until brown. Once lamb is nice and brown, add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool enough for handling. 3. Mix sauce ingredients in saucepan and cook until thickened. 4. Prepare your pan by spraying with cooking spray and lightly covering the bottom with the prepared sauce. 5. Assemble the rolls; shape 1/4 cup of filling into a cylinder. Place in the center of one cabbage leaf and roll up, burrito style. Repeat, placing each roll into prepared baking pan. Pour sauce over top, cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. 6. If desired, sprinkle with fresh parsley and shredded parmesan.