Monday, August 4, 2014

Cabbage Rolls - Updated

Hot Summer is here - and while the fruit is the star, all that sun grows amazing green stuff.
I have my paws on my OxBow Box and it is full of beautiful summer greens with a definite Italian theme.

My favorite sleeper produce of the summer is cabbage, and not just any cabbage, Savoy cabbage.

Here are these babies getting clean and crisp for market.

Savoy is the wrapping cabbage of choice.  And since I got a hold of the OxBow Box on a weekend, I had Time To Cook!  And so I did.

Italian Style Cabbage Rolls
I've loved the idea of cabbage rolls for awhile, but they are a huge pain to make, and so much of the filling is... wellllllll.... bland meatloaf.  And that is so sad.

But with the combination of Italian ingredients

and of course the Italian parsley... I felt like it was time to do something about this.

Oh... and there was the thing where the tomatoes are so amazingly ripe they peel without a dip in boiling water
Ok... these were from the Farmers Market -
but LOOK local, ripe tomatoes! 
I've just gotta do it.

I had to take on the "cutting off the vein from the cabbage."

So blanch it for about 10 minutes,

drain and let it cool, then make sure you have a Sharp Knife

to cut off the thick vein

so it rolls well.

My 1st challenge was to make sure the vegetables were so tasty they were and important part of the filling.

I browned the HECK out of the onions
zucchini and fennel.
It was very important to cook down, soften and brown all the vegetables - half an onion, a banana sized zucchini- cubed - and thinly sliced fennel.

And unlike "traditional" rolls that are filled with a raw meatloaf that must be cooked for an hour or more... these could be assembled

not too much filling

fold over one side and roll

see how the edges are sticking up?

just poke it in like an
"innie" bellybutton

And then just baked (covered!) until heated through.  (20 min at 375˚F)*

I made a really simple fresh tomato sauce - because this is the ONE TIME OF THE YEAR!!!! I can.  I peeled them, pulled out the seedy-goo, and made a purée with the parsley, some of the fennel fronds, garlic and salt.

A little sauce on the bottom - a little sauce on the top
(yes, put sauce on all of them)
I baked it for about 20 minutes to make sure they were warmed through.

And NOW I did eat it all up!

(and the other dozen I made have gone to friends and family - and now I need to make more!)

* You can also make these ahead, and keep them in the fridge for a a few days - this time they need to be baked, covered, for about 45 min at 375˚F if they are coming straight out of the fridge.

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