Funny, my last post got record number of views since I started this blog. I am guessing that half of the Internet is jealous about The Awesomest Neighbor! Ladies don’t get your hopes up, Milton is happily married and not planning to move to the East Coast! The good news: he did like the healthy dessert!
Today’s recipe has gained only my husband’s seal of approval so far. He is my severest critic (“If I’m going to eat this for the rest of my life, I better be straightforward”). This guy learned to be brutally honest the hard way. The very hard way… When we just started dating, we went to see Madame Butterfly together. I believe his initial review contained the words “beautiful” and “the most romantic story”… He endured three more such outings until he couldn’t tolerate it anymore and confessed that he hated opera.
So, no “Madame Butterfly” in our kitchen.
Traditionally these Russian “golubtsy” are made with minced beef or pork stuffing, but I experimented with a healthier alternative that has a lighter, earthier feeling to it.
- 1 large cabbage
- 1 cup of brown rice, cooked
- 1 cup of sprouted garbanzo beans
- 1 cup of sprouted sweet peas
- 1 cup of sprouted wheat berries
- 1,5 cup walnuts, shelled
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 egg
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 30 oz diced tomatoes
- 2 sticks of celery , chopped
- ¼ cup of olives, pitted and sliced
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp oregano
- 2 bay leafs
- 1 bunch of basil, chopped, divided
- Olive oil for sautéing
In a large pot boil enough water to cover the cabbage.
Prepare the filling: process beans, peas, wheat berries, walnuts, and garlic through a meat grinder or in a food processor. Sauté onion and carrot till the onion is golden and soft; add them to the grounded mixture. Add the egg, rice, salt, and pepper and mix the filling until consistent.
Prepare the wrapper: cook the cabbage in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the pot. Carefully peel the soft leaves from the cabbage. Once you reach the leaves that are still pretty firm, put the cabbage back into the boiling water, and repeat the process until all large leaves are removed. Gently trim off the thick parts located on the bottom center of the leaves.
Make golubtsy by placing a generous helping of the filling on the leaves and gently folding it inside like in an envelope.
Lightly sauté golubtsy seam down to seal the joints for about 2 mintues.
Gently place them on a bottom of a pot. Chop the remaining cabbage and cover the golubtsy with it. Top with the tomatoes, celery, and olives. Layer half of basil.
Mix water with spices and salt and pepper and pour the mixture over the vegetables, add bay leaves.
Cover the pot, turn the heat to medium, and bring the dish to boil. On low heat boil for about 10 minutes, covered.
Garnish with remaining basil. Traditionally this dish is served with sour cream. My opera fan likes to add hot sauce as well.
On the scale from “Madame Butterfly” to “Before Sunrise” this recipe is a definite “True Romance” (♥♥♥♥)
Oh, and if you are about to enjoy golubtsy, I encourage you to check out this post from my fellow blogger Breakfast In Moscow… you know, just to add a pinch of Russian soul to your dish…
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