I have never had the meat version of Stuffed Cabbage, so I don’t know how this compares, but man, is this dish good! Mother-in-law #2 made this for us while we were visiting, and I told her I had to have the recipe. She said “I knew YOU would love it, so I’ve already made you a copy!” She said this came from some slow cooker recipe book. She also said not to bother with making the tomato sauce, that using sauce from a jar would be just fine. Of course, I did have a few problems when I attempted this dish. When I was cutting the thick stem from the cabbage leaves, the leaves had a tendency to tear apart. Then after I tried to stuff them, things just really got messy. I stuffed the messed-up leaves as well as I could, then covered the whole thing with some of my favorite pasta sauce from Giada. These turned out so well! They weren’t the prettiest cabbage rolls I’ve ever seen, but I’m okay with that. This nutty filling tastes so much like ground beef, it’s scary! I made some mashed potatoes to serve them over, because that’s just a great combo. I ate these babies for lunch every day until they were gone.
2 cups mixed nuts, finely ground (I used walnuts and pecans)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 cup shredded American cheese or Cheddar cheese
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp yeast extract (I used veggie broth)
12 large green cabbage leaves
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until thickened.
2. Meanwhile, mix together the nuts, onions, garlic, celery, cheese, and thyme in a bowl. Lightly beat the eggs with the yeast extract in a pitcher, then stir into the nut mixture. Set aside.
3. Cut out the thick stem from the cabbage leaves. Blanch the leaves ina large saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. Pat fry with paper towels.
4. Place a little of the nut mixture on the base send of each cabbage leaf. Fold the sides over, then roll up to make a neat package.
5. Arrange the packages in the slow cooker, seam side down. Remove and discard the bay leaf from the tomato sauce and pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Serve the cabbage rolls hot or cold.