Archive for December 14th, 2009

Food memories

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,

cooked on top of the stove and then mixed with the turmeric-scented rice, sauteed onions and garlic, toasted almonds and golden raisins.

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.


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