Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Cabbage Rolls with Leeks, Mushrooms and Slivered Almonds

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...
Mama S. worked furiously at this time of year. Any grass remaining in her backyard had long been overrun by a garden that teemed with with vegetables; tomatoes and peppers were especially abundant. She also grew herbs that were completely foreign to the rest of the neighborhood. Fresh garlic, basil and rosemary were still exotics and would not appear in most kitchens for another 20 years. I had my first taste of pesto in her fragrant, summer kitchen. Mama refused to work in the basement though a stove had been provided for her there. As a result her kitchen, already sweltering in the heat of a Midwestern August, became a furnace when water in canning kettles came to a boil. She had a routine. She also had a shtick and I, around the age of ten, became her audience and her tomato peeler. There were days when her sisters would join her and, for lack of space, I'd be relegated to the porch to complete my task where I, fascinated by the antics of this large and boisterous family, would shamelessly eavesdrop. By September her pantry, huge by today's standards, was lined with jars of jewel toned tomatoes, peaches, pears, corn and beans. Very little was wasted in that kitchen. Water boiling in those kettles was used to blanch cabbage leaves for rolls much lighter than their winter cousins. I came across a recipe similar to Mama's in an old issue of Taste Italia and decided to give it a try. These summer rolls take about 20 minutes to prepare and an additional 50 minutes or so to cook, so plan accordingly. I served these with a plain roast chicken. They'd also be great with a pork roast. If you're looking for something a little different, you might want to give this recipe a try.

Summer Cabbage Rolls with Leeks, Mushrooms and Slivered Almonds
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1 small Savoy cabbage
8 ounces leeks, white and tender green, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
8 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
2) Remove 8 large outer leaves from cabbage. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Blanch leaves for 1 to 2 minutes to soften slightly. Plunge into cold water to retain color. Drain. Remove tough lower spine.
3) Finely chop 2 cups of remaining cabbage. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, leeks, garlic and mushrooms and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add almonds, lemon juice and paprika to mixture and cook for an aditional 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool. Add egg and salt and pepper to mixture. I used 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt, but these really should be added according to individual taste. Mix well.
4) Divide stuffing between blanched cabbage leaves. Roll leaves tightly. Place, seam-side down and tightly packed, in a single layer in an ovenproof pan. Pour vegetable broth around the rolls. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve piping hot. Yield: 8 cabbage rolls.


Jolita said...

I love cabbage wraps! This dish reminds me of home! And it looks so beautiful!

Mary said...

Jolita, it is a very nice recipe. Lighter than most but extremely flavorful. I hope you'll visit with us often.

Donetta said...

Oh this sounds divine as does the kitchen and gardens of long ago.
I did take a lighter afternoon doing interior decor and some laundry and dishes. But I like those women of old tend to task even on light days often much more than often the day of the common homemaker. This is my passion.
We have a heat advisory over the next few days. Except the gardens watering it will be indoors for me.

I have a cabbage to turn into slaw. Soon I will be able to bake.
I think I will be purchasing bread this week.
I hope to set up an outdoor kitchen at harvest to can under the gazebo.

Mary said...

Donetta, I'm so glad you stopped by. I hope you'll visit often.

Jamie said...

Lovely story! Your story telling makes it all so vivid! Lucky you to have grown up with such women. These cabbage rolls sound fabulous (I was always put off by such dishes as my mom's stuffed cabbage was horrid!). I love the filling!

Katy ~ said...

Gorgeous photo! This sounds so different and good.

girlichef said...

What a great cabbage roll variation...they sound absolutely delicious!

Joy said...

Fabulous recipe and wonderful to hear the history (herstory) of wonderful cooking and a wonderful woman.
Fully inspiring!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I always thought of cabbage rolls as winter fare, but these summer ones sound delicious. Thanks so much for opening my eyes!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful, summery variation of the usually heavy cabbage roll. Mushrooms and leeks are heavenly together and almonds give a little crunch.

My grandma's pantry at the end of summer was awesome. What a wonderful memory.

Kitty Valerie said...

That recipe is so good for your health. Did you know that cabbage helps prevent colon cancer?
And the Slivered Almonds gives your plate a touch of sophistication.
I love your blog. I'm a follower.
Warm regards from Chile, South America,

My Little Space said...

This recipe sounds good and healthy. I think the cabbage should be tasted fresh & crunchy!

Mary said...

Val, I'm so happy to hear you'll be joining us on a regular basis. I'll try to keep it interesting.

Gaby said...

These look great Mary! said...

wow perfect cabbage wraps
love ur lovely comments on my blog dear ..
Have tagged you, do check my blog dear!

Pam said...

I've never had something like this before. It looks and sounds so incredible Mary.

The Apple Hill Adventurer said...

gosh, these look right up my alley!

veggies and fresh clean flavor

daylily777 said...

This & all recipes on your blog look so delicious. I love cabbage , I can't wait to try it .
Thanks for stopping by and leaving the sweet comment.8-)

Olga said...

Looks like such a clean dish. Great photo too!

Baking Monster said...

I have never heard of this but it sounds fantastic!

The Blonde Duck said...

This looks fabulous!

I don't know why I didn't tell the secret. I thought I was, but it just didn't work out that way.

Cindy said...

Your recipe for cabbage rolls sounds so good. I also enjoyed your story about your mother's kitchen. Such dear memories! Thank you for stopping over at my blog and leaving a comment, it is so sweet of you. Hugs, Cindy S

cherry said...

Hi Miss Mary thank you so much for stopping by because now I have found your beautiful blog and I'm loving everything I see..hugs, Cherry

Kristin said...

I love the story about your mom, really made me smile. I have not done any canning yet this summer, I hope to be able to soon!

Kristin said...

I forgot, I wanted to mention that I borrowed your "from the kitchen" the other day in a recipe aI had made on my own. I like the way that sounds, hope you didn't mind!

Karen said...

I have never had cabbage wraps, but these look so good! I like cabbage, so I'm sure I would like these. Thanks for sharing. Karen

Lynda said...

I haven't had cabbage wraps like these,just the ones with a meat filling. These look delicious and different, something new to try!

CC said...

I've never had cabbage wraps like these..but they look beautiful and sound delicious. I have to try these..thank you for all the wonderful recipes and the inspiration you provide.

Debinhawaii said...

I love how light this is--it looks and sounds really good!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You've just reminded me of a cabbage in my fridge that I need to do something with - and stuffing the leaves looks and sounds great.

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