Author Topic: Olga's Vegetarian Holubtsi (Cabbage Rolls)  (Read 21805 times)

Olga Drozd

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Olga's Vegetarian Holubtsi (Cabbage Rolls)
« on: October 16, 2010, 08:23:04 PM »
Olga's Vegetarian Holubtsi

My son is a vegetarian so I try to make food with some kind of protein in it. This is my own version today as I never use a recipe to make holubtsi -- today I must write down the recipe! In this recipe I needed some protein so I added a can of butter beans (lima beans). You can use any beans you like-- Azuki beans are especially good to use as they are high in protein, complex carbohydrates and iron. White kidney beans or Great Northern Beans or Chick Peas. If you have a Chinese market near you buy their cabbage (Asian style cabbage - Ko-Le)) sometimes called Korean. (I also found them at the Polish Starsky's grocery market called flat cabbage). This cabbage is light green in colour and lightly packed, and with very tender leaves and is flatter not round as other cabbages. It makes rolling very easy without cracking the cabbage as you are rolling.  I always use this cabbage. Below is the picture of the cabbage and herbs that I used (garlic chives and onion chives) and a picture of the butter beans (small lima beans) bought from the health food store.

2 cups Uncle Ben's converted rice-white or brown
1 Tbsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped - red or white
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms (optional)
1 medium carrot - grated
2 to 3 large garlic cloves - finely chopped or mashed
1 Tbsp. garlic chives - chopped fine (optional)
1 Tbsp. onion chives - chopped fine (optional)
1 cup sweet potatoes - raw - peeled and grated (optional)
1-2 Tbsp. parsley - chopped
1 (14 oz./398 mL) can butter beans - rinsed, drained and chopped or mashed - Enden Organic used
2 large eggs beaten with a pinch of coarse salt - kosher salt used
Salt and pepper to taste

4 1/2 cups tomato juice
1 cup of cabbage liquid from cooking cabbage

In a large stockpot add enough water as if you are going to make spaghetti and 1 Tbsp. salt.  Add the rice and cook until the rice is al-dente (cooked so as to be firm but not hard.) Drain the rice and rinse under cold water. In the same pot add 2 Tbsp. of butter and put it back on the same burner and turn off the heat.  Add the drained rice and stir the rice gently with 3 good pinches of coarse salt and cover the pot. Let it sit there as you prepare the rest of the filling.

In a frying pan fry the onions in 3 Tablespoons olive oil until limp then add the mushrooms, grated carrots, grated sweet potatoes if using, garlic, fry for a few minutes and then add chives if using and parsley and the chopped up or mashed butter beans and a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste. Add this mixture to the rice in the pot and stir until well mixed.  Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper to taste. Cabbage loves salt and it will absorb it so add enough seasoning in the filling. When the filling has cooled down, beat two eggs with a pinch of salt and stir into the rice.

Cut the core out of the cabbage and place core side down in boiling salted water for a few minutes then turn it up so the core is up. As each leaf gets to be soft and pliable remove each leaf with tongs.  There is a hard vein in the centre of each leaf, I take a knife and slice it out so that it is flush with the cabbage - this makes it pliable and easy to fold. For this recipe I used 1 1/2 cabbages.  Any leftover cabbage, shred it place in the bottom of a large greased roasting pan and add chopped leaves on top of the cabbage rolls - see NOTE . I used my large clay cooker to cook my holubtsi.

Place 1 to 2 Tbsp. filling in centre of each leaf. If the leaf is large I use more filling if the leaf is smaller I use less. Fold 1 end over filling. Fold sides in.  Roll up to enclose filling.  Arrange cabbage rolls close together, tightly , in layers if necessary, in roasting pan. Place the holubtsi with the seam side down. I had two layers in my clay cooker (add sauce between layers.

In a pot add the tomato juice and 1 cup of the cabbage liquid and bring to a boil and pour over the cabbage rolls. If you want the sauce to be sweet and sour add 2 or more Tablespoons brown sugar and lemon juice to taste - boil and pour over cabbage rolls.

Over the cabbage rolls sprinkle some olive oil  or melted butter. If you wish add some chopped chives and sprinkle on top. Cover roasting pan and place in a 375 F. oven if using a clay baker or 350 F. if using a regular roasting pan. Bake until the cabbage is soft when pierced.  I cooked mine for 2 1/2 hours.  If you wish serve cabbage rolls with mushroom sauce, or tomato sauce, or with sour cream. Makes about 20 holubtsi.

NOTE: You can also use well rinsed sauerkraut  and place sauerkraut on the bottom of the casserole and on top of the holubtsi for a different flavour. Variation; for the sauce I added a can of whole cranberry sauce with a tablespoon of brown sugar. For the filling about 2 cups of cooked buckwheat groats added to the rice above. Sometimes I add cooked Quinoa along with the rice --make sure you rinse it well before you cook it. Cook buckwheat groats or Quinoa separately.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 09:41:48 AM by Olga Drozd »