Sunday, January 11, 2015
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
I was flipping through one of my cookbooks earlier this weekend, and came across a recipe for vegetarian cabbage rolls. The basic components sounded right, based on the innumerable cabbage rolls I ate as a child, so I decided to give it a shot, with some modifications.
The original recipe in my book calls for black beans, and raisins. Frankly, I believe raisins are an abomination, especially when baked into other foods, so that was not happening. I also think the black beans are too large a bean, if you are going to get anything close to a good texture. I don't want big balls of mush when I bit into something like a cabbage roll.
Alright, here's how I did it.
1 cup cooked rice
1 tin (19 fl oz) lentils, drained & rinsed
1/3 cup diced carrot (about 1 small to medium carrot)
1/3 cup diced celery (about 1 large celery stalk)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 small to medium cabbage (I used a savoy, because they were on sale at the grocery store, but plain old green would work fine too)
3-4 cups marinara sauce (I used one 680ml jar of tomato passata, and just added spices, and a bit of water, but I definitely needed more sauce).
1 tbsp lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar (brown for preference, but white will work too, it just won't be quite the same flavour)
1. Mix the rice, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, lentils and one 1/2 cup of marinara sauce in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Carefully peel off 8-10 of the large, outer cabbage leaves. You want them to be as intact as possible. Grate 2-4 cups of the rest of the cabbage. Put the grated cabbage in the bottom of the crock pot (this will shield the rolls from the direct heat).
3. Boil the intact leaves in a large pot of water for 3-5 minutes, or until pliable. Drain the leaves, and cut out the thick middle rib.
4. Mix the sugar & lemon juice with the marinara sauce. Pour 1/3 of the marinara into the crock pot, and mix into the shredded cabbage (this will keep the grated cabbage from burning).
5. Taking your whole leaves, one at a time, place approximately 1/3 cup of the rice and lentil mixture into the middle of the leaf, fold over the sides, and roll up. Place each roll into the crock pot.
6. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the cabbage rolls (if you have to do more than 1 layer of rolls in the crock pot, pour some marinara over the first layer before putting in the second, and then pour the remaining sauce over the top).
7. Cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 3 1/2-4 1/2 hours.
I served mine with a salad tossed in a lemon-tahini salad dressing. Yum!