Guest Author - Clare Stubbs
Stuffed cabbage leaves are commonly known as lahanodolmathes and you will find that they are very similar to dolmades. If you have thought about making some of these then you will be pleased to know that not only are they quick to prepare, they donít cost a fortune to make either. Grape leaves are usually the best and most popular option but if you are unable to locate any then cabbage is a great alternative with this recipe.
If you want to make stuffed cabbage leaves, they can be used as an appetizer or as part of a larger meal. Either way, lahanodolmathes are very tasty and prove to be an extremely versatile dish.
Ingredients (makes around 10 Ė 12 large leaves)
1 large cabbage
2 cups of long grain rice
Juice of 2 lemons
1 or 2 onions
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Carefully take off the amount of cabbage leaves you require and if necessary remove any thick stems. Rinse well before use and then place each leaf in boiling water to soften (this only takes about 1 or 2 minutes). Once done, put to one side to dry.
2. Place the rice in a large pan and add enough water so it is completely covered. Cook on a medium heat for around 7 Ė 10 minutes. It will still have a firm texture and remove from the hob to cool.
3. While you are waiting for the rice, this will be the time to peel and slice or grate the onions. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onions for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, until they are soft and slightly brown.
If you donít want to make a large dish then all you need to do is divide up any large leaves and use 1 tablespoon of filling instead of 2. This will be ideal for appetizers or as a small snack.
Preparing the Stuffing
1. When the rice and onions are ready, add these together in a large bowl and stir well.
2. Next, add the lemon juice, salt, pepper and some freshly chopped mint and mix together.
3. At this point the cabbage leaves will be ready for stuffing and you should put 1 or 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each leaf.
If you want to alter what is included in your lahanodolmathes then there are a number of other ingredients you could use, such as garlic, nutmeg, paprika and oregano.
Rolling the Leaves
This part is actually very simple. All you need to do is roll each leaf once; push both sides in and continue rolling. It is important not to pack these too tight as the rice will expand during cooking.
The Final Step
Once the leaves are ready to cook, you will place them in a pan of warm water, making sure they are fully covered and leave to simmer on a medium heat for approximately 30 minutes and serve immediately.