Cabbage Rolls
60 Min

Cabbage Rolls

When I was working as a microbiologist in Canada many years ago, a Hungarian co-worker would often bring in cabbage rolls for lunch. Common to the cuisine of central, northern and eastern European countries, cabbage rolls are usually stuffed with meat and rice. While I developed a fondness for them at the time, they were largely forgotten until recently. In helpless and heartfelt solidarity with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters as we watch the havoc unfold, I find myself wanting to cook their cuisine, from borscht to holubtsi, the Ukrainian cabbage roll. These are a simple vegetarian version.
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Cook Time

60 Minutes



To prep cabbage:
Step 1
Gently pull 6 cabbage leaves off the head, making sure to leave them intact. You may have to slice the bottom of the cabbage to help pry them off.
Step 2
Using a bamboo or a makeshift steamer, cook the cabbage leaves for a minute or until wilted.
To make the filling:
Step 1
Combine the cooked mushrooms, caramelized onions, egg, nuts, raisins, parsley, black pepper, and salt.
To make the sauce:
Step 1
In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic slices just until golden. Slide the coriander seeds in the oil followed by the tomatoes. Fry on high heat for a minute, then add the chili powder and salt and turn the heat down, letting the tomatoes stew for 3 to 4 minutes. If the mixture appears dry, add a few tablespoons of water. Turn the heat off and let the sauce rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and chopped parsley and set aside.
Step 2
Divide the cabbage filling into 6 parts and stuff each leaf with the filling, roll the cabbage leaves into logs and place them with the closed fold side down.
To cook the cabbage rolls:
Step 1
Either steam them for 5 to 7 minutes or bake them at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes uncovered.

Cabbage Rolls:

1 small green cabbage

1 cup cooked rice

2 cups cooked mushrooms (see notes)

1 tablespoon raisins or currants

1 large egg

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans

2 tablespoons chopped caramelized onions

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves with stems

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Tomato Parsley Sauce:

4 tablespoons olive oil

8 to 10 cloves garlic, sliced

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves with stems

Notes & Variations

  • To cook mushrooms (such as portobello, shiitake, or maitake), combine about 4 to 5 cups of chopped mushrooms with 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Cook at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes until they are wilted and cooked through. Alternately, cook them in a sauté pan for 5 to 7 minutes with the same ingredients.
  • Add 1/2 cup of your favorite melting cheese to the filling mixture or sprinkle grated on top of the rolls when they come out of the steamer or oven.
  • Cabbage rolls can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for up to 6 months.
60 Min

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