I absolutely love cabbage rolls and every time I eat this wonderful dish I think of Christmas. This is the vegan version of the Romanian traditional dish "sarmale" which usually contains ground pork/beef meat.
Another thing that I love about this recipe is that it gets better with time! Yes! It gets better and tastier every time you re-heat it.
Try it and let me know if you like this vegan version rather than the original recipe. I do!
Ingredients for 30 rolls:
1 large pickled cabbage
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 big onion, diced
1 cup brown rice, soaked in water for 15 minutes
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 bunch of dill, chopped
2 tbsp unrefined sunflower oil
For the filling: Grind the mushrooms and carrots in your food grinder and then set aside.
Soak the cup of brown rice in 1/2 cup of water for 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat.
Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the mushroom and carrot paste into the saucepan and sauté for another 10 minutes.
Add the rice(don’t drain it) along with an additional 1/2 cup of water. Stir and let the mixture boil for 10 minutes or until almost all excess liquid is absorbed. It doesn’t need to be cooked, it just has to absorb all of the excess water.
Remove from heat and add chopped dill and salt and pepper to taste. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
For the wrappers and assembly:
Separate the cabbage leaves (cut out the hard part of each leaf) and make the rolls adding about 1 Tablespoon of filling into each roll. Chop the remaining hard parts of the cabbage leaves. Place them on the bottom of a large baking pan.
Put the assembled rolls in the pan on top of the hard cabbage pieces.
Arrange them around the pan until the pan is full.
Add the bay leaves and sprinkle paprika on top.
Cover with some chopped cabbage leaves.
Add water until all rolls are covered.
Place in oven at 392F˚ for 1 1/2 hours. Check every half an hour and add more water if necessary. Half an hour before it’s ready, add the tomato paste and finish cooking.