Baked cabbage parcels
This recipe was developed for us by Despina Mina - a fellow Crop Dropper, food enthusiast and blogger. For recipes and local food-related titbits, follow her at ForkedLDN
Yet again I draw inspiration from my Greek heritage (comes in handy when you cook as much as I do!) The Greeks have a dish called Dolmades: stuffed vine leaves with rice and herbs. No vine leaves growing in your back garden? Use the beautiful cabbage in your Crop Drop bag! I’ve deviated from the classic recipe by stuffing the parcels with a little rice and a lot of vegetables and it’s worked out well, try out other vegetables and get experimenting!
Approx 14 cabbage leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
x 1 large onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
x 1 tinned tomatoes
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
40g rice cooked to packets instructions
40g roasted squash cut into small cubes
40g roasted beetroot cut into small cubes
x 1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 handful of raisins
1 handful of chopped walnuts
Topping - if using
Grated cheddar cheese or mozzarella pulled apart
1. Weigh out the rice, squash and beetroot. Cook the rice to the packets instruction. Chop up the veg into small cubes, and place them in a roasting tin with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, cook at 180 oC until soften then set aside.
2. To make the tomato sauce , heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onions until they have softened, add the garlic and the tinned tomatoes. Add the chilli to taste along with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and gently simmer until thickened, it should take about 15-20 minutes.Then with an electric blender, give it all a whizz to combine.
3. If the spine of the cabbage leaves are quite thick, shave the thickest part back with a small sharp knife and then blanch the leaves in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften.
4. For the filling, fry the onions in a little olive oil until softened and add the garlic and stir for a minute then drop in the walnuts, raisins and cooked veg, salt and pepper and a good stir.
5. Lay the cabbage leaves out on a flat clean surface and place a spoonful of the mixture in the centre of the leave. Fold over each side into the centre and roll the leaf up so that the staging is neatly tucked away. Place them in your ovenproof dish seam side down and repeat for the remainder. I find its best to pack the parcels in tightly so that they don’t open up in the heat and moisture.
5. Spoon the tomato sauce over the parcels and if using, top with grated cheddar cheese or mozzarella dotted around. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes. I served it with a simple salad of rocket leaves and shavings of Kohlrabi dressed in lemon and olive oil.