Tender pockets of cabbage leaves stuffed with yum and slow cooked in home canned summer tomatoes. Oooo la la!
My Mister grew up in a Polish family and this (a version of Gołąbki (literally: little doves; pron.”go-woomp-kee) is his comfort food. That traditional version contained meat, our version does not. Adding ground turkey, lean pork, or a combination, might be your choice. We love to fill these with veggies of choice, along with either rice or lentils, some kind of pretty green, and a meaty mushroom.
This is not just rice filled cabbage in a weak tomato broth. Sorry, Babcia. This is veggie stuffed cabbage rolls. In hearty tomatoes. Oooooo la la!!’
Its all about quality tomatoes, as usual. If in a pinch you can, of course, use a good quality store tomato. If you are still learning how to can summer tomatoes, check out the how to here:
If you want to make them a bit more "Italian" and spicy, use the roasted Roma tomatoes and garlic from the freezer:
The how to is here: Freezing Roasted Roma Tomatoes and Garlic
Choose regular cabbage. We were once seduced by the pretty colors and texture of Savoy cabbage, but the taste of regular cabbage wins every time. Cut out the core and then drop the head into a deep pot of boiling water to release the leaves.
Decide what you want to create for stuffing. We like red lentils (or rice), onion (or leek or shallot), garlic, carrot, shitake mushrooms and baby bok choy. Don’t be timid about improvisation.
I like to sauté shitake mushrooms in sherry for these.
Brown the onion, carrots, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Remove from heat and stir in the lentils or rice (about a cup). Rice and lentils will expand when cooking, so be wary. Here is what my goo looks like in the pan:
Trim the cabbage leaves of any tough core still at the ends. Spoon filling into the leaf. Roll like a burrito or egg roll. Over, sides tucked, over again.
Place seam side down in a deep soup pot. Cover completely with canned tomatoes. Sometimes I used my stewed tomatoes, which is just the homegrown stewed with onion, celery and green peppers.
Bake slowly in the oven, covered, or cook stovetop, covered. This could take several hours.
Once you break them open into a bowl the whole thing resembles cabbage soup. So be it.
Serve with salt and pepper, crusty bread, green salad.