In Greece, rice stuffed rolls wrapped in grape leaves are called dolmades. My classic English cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice, have been given a Grecian vamp up with pine nuts, oregano, and sprinkled with feta. On a chilly eve’, these babies will keep the night’s nip at bay.
1 Onion, chopped finely
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 cup Cooked Brown Rice
1/4cup of Pine Nuts
1 tsp. Savory
1 Egg, beaten
1 Head of Green or Savory Cabbage (you won’t use it all)
½ tsp. Salt and of Pepper
Wooden Un-dyed Toothpicks
1 Large Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp. Oregano
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a frypan, over high heat sauté the beef and onions until light brown. Add garlic sauté for a minute or less. Add cooked brown rice and savory spice. Stir to combine and set aside. Just before assembling the cabbage rolls, stir in the egg and pine nuts.
If the outer leaves of the cabbage are ratty, discard them. Cut out the core of the cabbage from underneath. Peel about half the leaves off the cabbage and drop them into the boiling water. Remove them as soon as they become limp and stack on a plate. If their center vein is very thick cut it out.
To assemble, put a hefty spoonful of meat/rice mix in the middle of a leaf. Fold the sides toward the center, then roll. Put a toothpick in along the seam to bind the roll together. Repeat until you’ve used up all the meat. If you have any parboiled cabbage leaves left, you can slice them thinly to be added later.
In the empty stock pot, build up layers of rolls. Pour tomato sauce over. Sprinkle with oregano. Top with thinly sliced leftover cabbage leaves. If the tomato sauce doesn’t completely cover the cabbage rolls, add a little water or broth.
Heat until bubbling, then turn the heat to low, put a lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.
Ladle out the rolls 3 per person. Crumble some feta over each portion. Either inform diners of a toothpick in each roll, or remove them yourself before service. Enjoy!