Friday, September 07, 2007

Golabki!: Stuffed Cabbage

This Wednesday at market, I was given a cabbage. The last time I interacted with cabbage was six years ago, when I saw it being fed to manatees in Tampa, Florida. I remember it made them very gassy. Stumped for a more refined way to enjoy this interesting brassica, I asked my Polish coworker, Karol, for suggestions. Here's what I ended up doing:

Fill a pot with water and simmer. Place cabbage upside-down. Do not let boil begin to roll! Just steam the outer leaves until they turn a brighter green and soften. Remove from pot and let cool a bit. Peel back outer leaves (about 4-6).

Meanwhile: prepare 1 cup of wild rice (bring to a boil in 2 cups water with 1 tablespoon olive oil; simmer and cook 30 minutes).

While the rice is cooking, take your open cabbage and begin to carve it out. I just attacked it with a knife, taking care not to break the outer leaves that were holding it in shape as a "bowl." We saved the interior we'd cut out and our neighbor Beth came over and mixed it up into a Korean kimchee dish.

Chop 3 cloves garlic and about 1 inch of ginger. Once rice is cooked, mix in garlic and ginger with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh dill (about 2-3 inches of feathery bits), and sage (I lightly crisped five leaves with olive oil).

Spoon rice mixture into cabbage. Fold outer leaves until it's nice and tight. Place back into hot simmering water, only this time, stem-side down. Steam for about 10 minutes. To serve, slice it any way you'd like. I cut it like a pie (because I like pie).

This is good hot or cold. We didn't have any leftovers to put in the fridge, or I'd tell you which is better.