As a child, I would never have gone anywhere near cabbage rolls let alone cabbage.
It fell into the “icky” and “yucky” group of adjectives usually spoken by kids.
Perhaps it was the sulphurous aroma that made me detest it. I can't remember.
All I know, is that one day, I had a “light bulb” moment.
All of a sudden the shredded cabbage salad dressed with a light vinaigrette wasn't that bad.
Mum’s cabbage/rice combo known as “lahanorizo” shined with new deliciousness.
And cabbage rolls were no longer seen as “evil”. LOL!
I use mint, dill and continental parsley for flavouring and finish off the sauce by making an avgolemono sauce.
My Serbian friends’ mother does a version of cabbage rolls in a red sauce and serves it up with sour cream. Delicious!
And there are probably a hundred more variations of this dish floating around the world.
Also, be wary of overcooking the whole cabbage in the first step. It will turn out soggy and make rolling up the cabbage rolls tricky.
Serve these cabbage rolls as part of a Greek meze selection or serve them up as a full meal with bread and a side slab of feta cheese.
Cabbage Rolls - Lahanodolmades
For the cabbage rolls:
- 1 cabbage, medium sized, inner core and outer leaves removed
- 400 grams minced beef
- 1/4 cup rice, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt, to season
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500 ml chicken stock
For the avgolemono sauce:
- 2 eggs
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Blanch the head of cabbage in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 mins. Once blanched remove the cabbage and separate the leaves. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to remove the thick inner vein on the leaf.
- In a separate bowl combine the beef mince, dill, parsley, mint, rice, a little olive oil and the salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Using our pre blanched cabbage leaves, drop a tablespoon of the beef mixture onto the bottom part of the cabbage leaf. Bring the two sides of the leaf to meet in the middle and roll them up ensuring they are not too tight. Continue with the remainder of the leaves and beef until you have your lahanodolmades made.
- In a large pot, drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom. Layer and stack your lahanodolmades in a neat manner until they are snugly fitting in the pot. Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover them. You don't want them to be completely submerged and swimming in the liquid. Cook them on a medium heat for approx 45-50 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. To keep them from opening during the cooking process, you can place a plate on top of them to provide a little pressure and hold them down.
- Once they are cooked we can finish them off with some avgolemono. Beat your eggs and lemon juice together and temper this mixture by adding a few ladles of the cooking liquid from the cabbage rolls. Beat thoroughly and add to the pot. Shake the pot a few times, season with salt and pepper and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving them and garnishing with cropped dill and parsley.