I am not sure why, but recently I have been craving stuffed cabbage. It’s one of the dishes my mother used to make and I remember it as hearty and filling and flavorful; a wonderful one-dish Sunday supper.
If I cooked with meat it would be easier to recreate my mother’s recipe (which used ground beef and rice in the stuffing), but since I don’t I had to find a meatless alternative. The recipe I finally settled on used Middle Eastern spices instead of the Eastern European flavors that I remember growing up.
Like my mother’s version, this recipe begins with rice; in this case, flavored with turmeric.
Instead of meat, I used lentils,
I carefully unfurled the cabbage leaves and stuffed them with the rice and lentil mixture
(a little surprised that the recipe did not suggest that I steam the cabbage first) and laid the rolls gently in a baking dish. I drizzled them with the simple, cinnamon-spiked tomato sauce and baked the casserole for about 40 minutes.
The result? A hearty, spicy and filling winter meal.