I know you’ve been dying to know what I did with that lovely head of napa cabbage that came in this week’s CSA delivery. I’ve been contemplating trying out a vegan diet for the month of April, so decided to apply this idea to this recipe. I’m going to apologize in advance, because I’m not a huge recipe person, and I generally throw ingredients together from what I have in the refrigerator…and I never measure (unless I’m trying to control portion sizes).
I started out with cooking some farro in some vegetable broth I had leftover from a soup I had made earlier. I found this farro at Costco last week and had to buy it – I had eaten it in salads before, but never had ventured to try cooking it myself. It is a lovely grain and I love the chewy texture. Note: To make the recipe gluten-free, use brown rice instead of the farro.
To cook the farro:
- Soak one cup of the grain for about an hour.
- Bring 3 cups of water to boil
- Add the farro and simmer for 25 minutes.
To make the filling:
- Soak some dried mushrooms in hot water. You could use fresh mushrooms, but make sure you have cooked them down until the water has released before proceeding.
- Toast a large handful of almonds and then crush (not puree) them in a chopper.
- Add the chopped up the mushrooms and some fresh parsley finely in the chopper after the almonds.
- Sautee one onion and add the almonds and mushrooms to the mix, seasoned to taste (cayenne, paprika, s&p).
- Add in the cooked farro at this point. I’m sure you could get really creative with different grains (brown rice, quinoa) and vegetables.
To prepare the cabbage rolls:
- Wash and trim the head of cabbage. For creating the cabbage rolls, I had to cut off the tougher stems to make it easier to roll. Many cabbage roll recipes call for steaming the cabbage first, by I opted to cook the cabbage once the rolls were done.
- Rolling the cabbage can be a bit tricky – I cheated and used a toothpick to hold them together.
- I then put together a quick sauce – I still have frozen crushed tomatoes leftover in the freezer from my tomato adventure last September. I sauteed some onions and garlic and added the crushed tomatoes (this batch had oregano in it already). I then added the cabbage rolls, put the lid on the pot and simmered it on low heat until the cabbage cooked up. Here’s the final product. Yummy vegan goodness!