My mom and I made this one chilly afternoon in October when cabbage was in it’s peak season. Cabbage is a green cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables play an important role in our diets, containing the highest amount of nutrients across any other food you can consume, packed with vitamin C, fiber and phytonutrients...flushing our systems and guarding our bodies against cancer and disease. Not to mention, this dish is one of my favorite winter fares… warming, healthy and extremely satisfying on a chilly night. Very excited to share it with you!
· 1 large head of savoy cabbage
· 2 onions, chopped
· 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
· 1 package of organic chicken breast (3-4 breasts)
· 2 cups of brown rice
· 2 32 oz cartons of reduced sodium chicken broth
· 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes (my mom likes Miur Glen organic tomatoes brand)
· ½ cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
· ½ cup of Italian bread crumbs
· 1 5 oz piece of tellegio or fontina cheese (if you cant find these cheeses, a good soft cheese or mild cheddar is a good substitute)
· 1 TBSB tomato paste
· 1 bunch of parsley
· 1 bunch of basil
· 1 bunch of thyme
1. Bring one container of chicken broth to a boil and add brown rice. Cook brown rice thoroughly
2. Meanwhile, fill large sauce pot with 4 inches of water, place aside
3. Remove outer tougher leaves of cabbage head and place in bottom of pot to make a padded surface for the cabbage head. After setting a few leaves down, set entire cabbage head on top, cover, and steam for 30 minutes
4. After cooked for 30 mins, drain water and place in cabbage colander. Carefully peel each leaf off one by one, they should separate easily after steaming.
5. To make the stuffing, add chopped onions and 2 cloves garlic to skillet and sauté on low heat until onions are translucent.
6. Add 3-4 large chicken breast to food processor, pulse until roughly chopped. Add chicken to fry pan with onions and garlic. Cook mixture for about 10 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
7. After thoroughly, add mixture to bowl with brown rice, grated cheese, bread crumbs, tomato paste, chopped parsley, basil, thyme
8. In a large casserole dish add thin base layer of fire roasted tomatoes, chopped basil, and 1 garlic clove chopped andsprinkled on top. This is a nice base for flavor.
9. Place one cabbage leaf on dish, remove the coarse rib with a paring knife. Scoop ¼ cup of stuffing for each leaf. Roll outer edge of leaf away from you and gently fold in sides and continue rolling so you that have a little “packet.”
10. Line them in in casserole dish like “little soldiers” my mother would say. 2-3 rows depending on depth of pan.
11. Add grated cheese, italian breadcrumbs, more chopped basil, thyme and parsley “en goppa” my mom would say (this means “on top” in Italian)
12. Add small pieces of tellegio or fontina cheese on top before placing in oven
13. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour until cabbage is cooked thoroughly. Serve warm.