Tama's Kasha and Gruyére Stuffed Savoy Cabbage

A dish that tastes as good as it looks on the plate: tender Savoy cabbage encases melted cheese and chewy kasha.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 1 hour

Pair With: Serve with a fruit-forward Merlot.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients For Stuffed Savoy:

12 Savoy cabbage leaves

1 cup dry kasha (buckwheat groats)

2 eggs, used separately

2 cups vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons butter extra for greasing muffin tin

1/2 cup minced onion

1 tablespoon garlic (about 3 cloves) minced

1 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon marjoram

4 oz. Gruyére--cut into 1 oz. chunks

1/4 cup minced parsley

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:

2 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes, either fresh or canned

1 bay leaf

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Directions For the Tomato Sauce:
Put the tomatoes, bay leaf, broth, salt, paprika, pepper and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down immediately, stir and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. You can use the sauce chunky or puree it in a food processor.

Directions For the Stuffed Savoy:

Cut the leaves off the head of Savoy cabbage and separate carefully so they don't tear. Boil enough water in a pot to cook the cabbage (about 2 quarts). When the water boils, put in the cabbage leaves and blanch for just a couple minutes so the stem is softened but the leaves are not falling apart. Place in a colander in the sink, rinse with cool water to stop them from cooking further, drain well and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the kasha and drain. Beat one of the eggs in a small bowl, add the kasha and mix thoroughly. Heat a cast iron or non-stick pan and dry-fry the kasha (no oil or butter), chopping up any clumps as the kasha cooks. The goal is to cook a thin layer of egg around each grain of kasha, keeping the grains separate (do not skip this step or you will end up with mushy kasha).

Put the broth and bay leaf into a large pot and bring to a boil, then add the kasha and turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered until the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat (cook without browning) the onion, garlic, and spices in the butter until the onion is translucent.

Put the cooked kasha and onion mixture in a large bowl and mix. Let cool. Mix the second egg in a small bowl, add to the kasha mixture and stir together.
Grease four of the holes in a large muffin tin with butter.  Put a cabbage leaf in each hole, then use the extra leaves to fill in so the Savoy will line the muffin tin hole with enough left to cover the top when done. Fill each cabbage leaf halfway with the kasha mixture, then place the Gruyére chunk in the center. Fill the rest of the cabbage with the kasha mixture, folding over the Savoy cabbage leaves and packing it down so the top is level with the top of the muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes.

 

To Plate:

Carefully put a (unheated) cookie sheet on top of the muffin tin, then quickly turn it over so the stuffed cabbage ends upside down on the cookie sheet. Spoon a fourth of the sauce on the bottom of each serving plate, then use a spatula to center a stuffed cabbage on each plate, sprinkle with minced parsley.

 

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