This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, not only because these rolls suit a variety of ocassions and can be served as either a first course or entree for vegans and meat-eaters alike, but because they are absolutely phenomenal. You just have to try them to find out. Check out my step-by-step cabbage rolls tutorial for photographs and detailed instructions on how to assemble the rolls.
For easier preparation, you can prepare the filling one day in advance and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- For the Filling:
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- 10 ounces. crimini mushrooms, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 8-12 large napa cabbage leaves, rinsed well
- For the Sauce:
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped white onions
- 1 ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup vegetable stock, store bought or homemade
- ¾ cup (12 T.) tomato paste
- 2 T. sugar
- 2 t. Herbes de Provence, or other dried herbs of choice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Make the filling. In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, adding the onion and garlic once hot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes more. Add the wine and herbs, bring mixture to a boil and cook until the almost all of the liquid is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the ground almonds and process until combined. Set aside.
3. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized stock pot or sauce pan. In a colander or steam basket set over the pot, steam the cabbage leaves until just soft and wilted slightly, about 3-4 minutes, working in two batches if necessary. (Essentially, your leaves should be soft enough that they will not crack when you roll them, but not so soft that they tear.) Transfer the leaves to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
4. Make the sauce. In the same skillet you used for the mushroom mixture, heat the oil over medium heat, adding the onions once hot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the wine, bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by one third. Add the stock, tomato paste, sugar and Herbes de Provence, stirring until well combined. Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer while you assemble the rolls.
5. Assemble the rolls. Place several tablespoons of the mushroom filling about 1 inch from the bottom of a cabbage leaf, fold in the sides and roll up the leaf holding in the sides as you would with a burrito. Repeat with the remaining rolls and place seam-side down in the simmering sauce. Cook the rolls for 30 minutes, stirring the sauce occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, ladling extra sauce over top.