I’ve had great success in the garden this season with a bounty of beautiful, round firm cabbages that I nurtured from seed. Normally they’d be ravaged by various insects, but I planted them earlier this year to get ahead of the aphids and caterpillars, which don’t arrive until the warmer weather.
I find it a wonder that such a beautiful thing can grow from a tiny seed.
I’ve been eating sautéed cabbage, coleslaw and experimenting with making sauerkraut. Now I have turned to cabbage rolls.
Normally cabbage rolls would be a winter dish for me, made using bought cabbages. But with an abundance of home grown late spring cabbages, a spate of strange cold weather and a potluck birthday dinner to cater for, they seemed just destined to be made.
They are stuffed with small french lentils and rice cooked with lots of onions, porcini mushrooms and stock and then baked in a tomato sauce. I like the small french green puy type lentils because they retain their shape when cooked and the filling ends up with good texture rather than just mush.
The rolls were good on the day they were made, and even more flavourful on the next day.
I love cooking from the garden and this dish used both the cabbages and some tomatoes I bottled from last season.
Simple food, but good.
recipe type: main
cuisine: vegan, eastern european
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 medium onions
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 cup small french puy style green lentils
- 1 tsp dried porcini mushroom pieces
- 2 cups of stock
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 12 cabbage leaves
- salt to taste
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 400g cans tomatoes
- salt and sugar to taste
- Heat the oil in a large deep pan
- Fry the sliced onions in oil until they soften and begin to brown
- Add the raw rice and lentils to the pan, crumble the porcini mushrooms, stir and add enough stock to cover by 1 cm.
- Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover and cook until the rice and lentils are just tender and the liquid is absorbed. You may need to add more stock or water. Don't overcook, they will cook a bit more in the tomato sauce later.
- Stir through the lemon zest and parsley.
- Heat the oil in a pan and briefly fry the garlic
- Add the tomatoes, crush and cook until reduced slightly.
- Season with salt to taste, and if needed add a small amount of sugar if the tomatoes are a bit too acidic.
- Take the leaves and submerge them in boiling water until they are limp.
- Remove them and drain.
- Remove the hard stems.
- Lay the leaves flat and add filling to the leaf closer to the stem end.
- Roll the leaf tightly, folding in the sides as you go and folding over again.
- Place the rolls seam side down into a baking dish.
- Don't worry if the are a bit messy or the filling is spilling out.
- When they are packed together and baked they will stay intact.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 180 dec C.
- Check them once or twice during cooking and if they look dry pour in a little stock to keep moist.
I love spring. I love it for the light, the warmth and the sense of renewal and hope. I also love the return of delicious spring vegetables.
This dish is so easy to make, a few small vegetables, some herbs, stock, oil, vegan butter and lemon or lime juice.
The added bonus for me is that all the vegetables came from my garden. Snow peas, artichokes, asparagus, thyme and parsley, straight from the garden and into the pan. I used a lime instead of a lemon because I had one last one hanging onto the tree. I always get a thrill when cooking an entire dish with vegetables from my garden.
This braise can be served over pasta or any other grain, or served in pastry if you wanted to get fancy.
But I usually keep it simple and serve it with some fettucine or pappardelle pasta. The vegetables are the star in their buttery, lemony sauce. And they take less time to cook than the pasta.
spring vegetable braise with pasta
- 2 globe artichokes
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs vegan butter
- 1 cup stock
- 16 snow or sugar snap peas
- 16 spears of asparagus
- 2 tbs chopped parsley
- 20 thyme leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- Prepare the artichokes and cut the hearts into quarters.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the artichoke pieces until lightly browned.
- Add the stock to the pan, bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cover.
- Cook for a few minutes until the artichoke pieces are just tender.
- Add the other vegetables, cover and cook for a minute or two.
- The stock should reduce down to a slightly thicker syrup. If it hasn't, remove the vegetables, reduce over high heat and return the vegetables to the pan.
- Stir in the herbs, butter and lemon juice.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve over pasta.
I went to a birthday party recently and the vegan finger food was just wonderful. Most of it was made by a friend of the hosts and a couple of dishes in particular were standouts. These cauliflower bites were probably my favourite and I came home on a mission to recreate them.
There are a large number of recipes for buffalo cauliflower around on the internet. I settled on this one with some variations, substituting fresh garlic instead of powdered and using some smoked paprika. I also used lime juice instead of the vinegar in the ranch dressing.
I spiced them up by using Sriracha instead of Frank’s Hot Sauce in the marinade. Sriracha is five times as hot as Frank’s, 2200 vs 450 Scoville units (the measure of chilli heat). I like chilli so it was fine for me.
They are delicious and completely moreish.
buffalo cauliflower bites with ranch dressing
author: quincesandkale based on a food network recipe
recipe type: snack, finger food
- 800 grams of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
- ⅓ cup soy milk
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup plain flour
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- a large pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp vegan margarine or butter
- 3 tbs sriracha hot sauce
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- ½ clove garlic crushed to a paste
- 1 tbs soy milk
- juice of half a lime or lemon
- 1 tbs finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbs finely chopped dill
- salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 220 deg C
- Mix the batter ingredients together in a large bowl
- Fold in the cauliflower pieces so they are completely coated in the batter
- Lift the cauliflower pieces out of the bowl with a fork to drain any excess batter and place on a single layer on a tray lined with baking paper.
- Cook for 25 minutes
- Meanwhile mix the marinade ingredients together and melt the butter in a microwave or saucepan
- Add the cauliflower pieces to the marinade mix and fold to coat completely
- Return to the oven in a single layer on baking paper and cook for a further 25 minutes
- Make the ranch dressing by mixing all the ingredients together.
- Serve the bites with ranch dressing as a dipping sauce.