Welcome to my Baking Blog. Each month will feature an in-season fruit or vegetable dish to make with a little bit of grow-your-own information on the side.
April is perfect for making Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage. It’s one of those leafy green vegetables that are often overlooked Cabbage doesn’t have to be just a side dish for the Sunday roast, or as a main ingredient in coleslaw. Have a go at making it the star of the show, with this tasty dish. Although are many different varieties to sow, grow, and eat, this recipe makes use of the large savoy leaves, that are nutrient rich.
Cabbage contains lots of goodness including Iron, vitamins B and K, as well as dietary fibre.
Prep Time 20 minutes. Cooking Time 1 hour 20 Minutes. Oven 180°c Fan 160°c Gas Mark 4
Skills Level Seasoned Kitchen Gardener***
- Chopping Board.
- Vegetable Knife.
- Measuring Spoon.
- Frying Pan with Lid.
- Saucepan with lid.
- Saucepan without lid.
- Small saucepan.
- Measuring Jug
- Blunt knife.
- Mixing Bowl
- Pyrex Dish.
- Tin foil
- Serving Dish.
- Tin Opener.
- Food Processor.
- Kitchen Paper.
- 8 Savoy Cabbage Leaves.
- 1/4 Aubergine.
- 6 Button Mushrooms.
- 1 Onion.
- 4 Mini sweet peppers.
- 200g chopped tin tomatoes.
- 100g rice.
- 75g Cheddar Cheese.
- 75g of Bread made into Breadcrumbs.
- 1 Egg.
- Vegetable Oil.
- 2-3 Teaspoons of Turmeric.
- 2-3 Teaspoons of Black Pepper.
- There are a few elements to the finished dish, it’s best to start with preparing everything first, rather than as you go along. This way things can be cooking at the same time.
- Wash and de-seed the pepper and cut into thin strips.
- Wash dice a quarter of the aubergine Clean the mushrooms and chop roughly.
- Wash the cabbage leaves thoroughly.. Remove the the central stem splitting the leaf in two lengthways.
- Cut the onion in half, dice each half of the onion and keep separate.
- Grate the cheese.
- Use a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
- Rinse the uncooked rice in a sieve under cold water.
- Fill a saucepan with required amount of cold water, for every 75g of rice use 175ml of cold water.
- Put the washed rice into the water and add the turmeric stir and bring to a rapid boil. Once boiling simmer until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. If the rice is still hard, you may need to add extra boiled water from a kettle.
- Meanwhile in a large frying pan heat the vegetable oil gently with the black pepper. Add one half of the diced onions and fry till translucent. Add the aubergines and red peppers and fry for another five minutes. Finally add the chopped tin tomatoes, oregano and basil and reduce heat. Cover with a lid and simmer for as long as the rice cooks.
- Crack the egg into a jug and beat with a fork.
- In a small saucepan use a few drops of vegetable oil to gently fry the other half of the onion for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms. When done leave to cool in a large mixing bowl.
- As these are frying boil a kettle to fill a second saucepan with boiling water
- Put the oven on to preheat.
- Once the rice is cooked drain and rinse in a colander under cold water. Leave to drain, whilst
- transferring the water from the kettle to the large clean un-lidded saucepan. Ensure that the vegetables in the frying pan are not sticking and taste for further seasoning if needed.
- Using a low heat, keep the water boiling and drop in two cabbage leaves, blanch for two minutes, use a fork to lift them onto a plate covered in kitchen roll. Repeat with all cabbage leaves. Then pat them dry when cool enough to handle.
- Turn off the heat under the frying pan, but leave the vegetables in the pan.
- Put the cooked rice into the bowl with the mushroom and onions, using a blunt knife stir in the breadcrumbs, then the cheese. Slowly add the egg, teaspoon by teaspoon, until the mixture sticks together like sausage meat, and holds its shape if you roll some into a ball.
- Spoon some of the fried vegetables into a Pyrex dish. Next using a clean chopping board lay the cabbage leaves flat and where the stem used to join the crown, fill the leaves with the rice mixture.
- Roll it into a cigar shape, and tuck the sides in afterwards. Place it in the Pyrex dish with the rolled edge downwards.
- Spread the rest of the mixed vegetables over the leaves, cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Note: You may want to add salt to your pot of rice as its boiling, as I don’t cook with salt, but you might.
Serve hot with breaded chicken or fish. Alternatively serve with good quality sausages.
Serve cold with strong cheese, crusty bread and salami or ham or warm bacon.
Grow Your Own.
Cabbages can be grown from February to April/May for summer harvests, and April to July for winter harvest. Then from July to October for a spring harvest. Whether direct sow in a warm bed, or in singular cell seed trays in a greenhouse before transplanting outside. Cabbages will grow best in firmed soil in an open space. They are not suited to grow bags, but some success is possible in a deep container. Sow at 1.25cms deep, and thin seedlings to 30-45cms apart.
They are hungry plants so prepare their final growing position with well rotted manure, and use a liquid feed. It’s best to ensure that the soil is moist before planting out as dry roots can cause club root causing the plants to wilt and die.
The RHS has a wealth of information on growing cabbages, as well as information on pests and diseases such as club rot. They recommend netting your plants to deter cabbage white butterflies as well as pigeons.
*Easy Peasy – Basic techniques/Suitable for Children with adult supervision/help.
**Treat as Tender – Intermediate Skills required/Children may need more help with this.
***Seasoned Kitchen Gardener – Confident Baker/Children might not be suited to this.