Repared with soaked matzoh instead of rice, these delicious cabbage roils also make an elegant and filling main course at Passover. Green cabbage will work well, but l find the frilly savoy prettier and tastier.
Make the cabbage rolls: put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with very hot tap water, and let them soak, covered, for 45 minutes.
In another bowl, crumble the matzoh into small pieces and cover with the broth. Let the matzoh steep for at least 20 minutes to drink in as much of the liquid as possible.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the large outer leaves of the cabbage from the core end. Rinse, then blanch them in a large pot of boiling salted water, 4 or 5 at a time, until just soft enough to bend and fold without breaking. Drain and pat dry as they are done, and set them aside to cool. Coarsely chop the inner leaves too small to roll and set aside no more than
In a skillet, sauté the onions in
Drain the mushrooms through a colander lined with a paper towel or a coffee filter, reserving the mushroom liquid for stock or gravy. Rinse the mushrooms briefly under cold water to remove any grit, dry, and chop them. In the wiped out skillet, heat the remaining
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Stuff the cabbage leaves: place them on a work surface, curled ends up like an open palm. Cut out the hard little triangle at the base of each stem. Put about Vs cup of filling (depending on the size of the leaf) in the center. Fold the stem end of the leaf over the filling, then tuck in the two sides. Pull the top tightly over these folds to enclose. The cabbage rolls should be compact and rounded. Place the finished rolls seam side down as you work.
Prepare the sauce: in a
Place the cabbage rolls on top of the sautéed vegetables, keeping them seam side down. Pack them together closely, and, if necessary, make a second layer. Pour the tomato sauce evenly over the cabbage rolls, cover the pot tightly, and bring to a boil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the cabbage is very tender.
You’ll want to sop up every drop of the lusty, deep-flavored sauce, so serve the cabbage rolls with lots of challah or other good bread or mashed potatoes.
Excellent reheated and even better the second day.
© 2008 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.