About the Recipe
Traditionally done w/ an avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce. I make this recipe with tomatoes instead. It's a little more rustic and reminds me of my first trip to Lefkada Island, Greece where my wife and I went to a small family-run restaurant and this is how they served it. We proceeded to eat at this restaurant as many times as we could before we left.
1 medium-head green cabbage
1/2 pound ground lamb, or ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup uncooked short-grain rice
1 large onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
Remove the outer layers of the cabbage and discard.
Turn the cabbage head over and using a sharp knife cut out as much of the core as you can.
In a large soup pot, boil enough water to submerge the cabbage head.
Boil the entire cabbage head for 10 to 15 minutes or until the leaves are nicely tender and can be removed easily.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the tomatoes and olive oil. Mix well.
Remove the cabbage from the water and drain. Remove the leaves one by one
Lay the cabbage leaf vein side up with the stem end towards you. Cut the leaf stem to remove any thick spine remaining.
Depending on the size of your leaf, place a portion of the stuffing mixture in the bottom center of the leaf. Leave room for the sides of the leaf to fold inward toward the center.
Roll the cabbage leaf toward the top making sure to press the stuffing in tightly.
Add 1/2 cup olive oil to a large flat-bottomed saucepan with lid. Place the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the pan in tight rows. Try to fit as many in a single layer as possible.
Add the tomato sauce and enough water to barely cover the top of the cabbage rolls. Invert a heatproof plate on top of the cabbage rolls to keep them submerged during cooking.
Bring the liquid to a boil and then simmer covered for approximately 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours or until the leaves are tender and the filling is cooked.
Re-season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste