Alissa Timoshkina‘s layered cabbage pie (golubsty) is a great one-pot dish that makes an impressive yet unassuming centerpiece; it’s also a brilliant way to use up tough outer cabbage leaves and leftover rice. Alissa, who together with Olia Hercules de #cookforukraine initiative, uses dill or parsley in the mix, adding, “This dish works really well with just the stems. And if your herbs are not that fresh, add them right away – the stems will soften and the flavor will become quite intense.”
Vegetarian goubtsy (for the very lazy)
I wrote this recipe in support of the #CookforUkraine initiative – go to his JustGiving page to get involved in the effort to make food a fundraising force.
Alissa calls her pie “for the lazy” because it takes all the effort to stuff and roll individual cabbage leaves. The vegetarian version has been simplified even further, making it both a perfect midweek meal and an easy dish to add to a festive dinner. Leftover cooked rice makes it very quick and easy to prepare. Larger outer cabbage leaves, often discarded, are wonderfully creamy, layered as an alternative to pastry, as they are here, or stuffed, as in the traditional recipe.
Serves 4 as part of a spread
6-7 outer cabbage leaves
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oilplus extra for greasing
1 small onionpeeled and cut into cubes
1 carrottrimmed and grated
250 grams mushroomsfinely chopped
3 cloves of garlicpeeled and finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp chili flakes
250 grams of cooked riceor buckwheat
2 tbsp tomato puree
6 dill leaves
Sour cream and rye bread crumbsto serve
Blanch the cabbage leaves in salted boiling water for 10 minutes, until soft, then carefully remove and drain. Use three of the leaves to line the bottom and sides of an oiled 8-inch thick-bottomed roasting pan.
To make the filling, gently fry the onion, carrot and mushrooms in a tablespoon of vegetable oil for 10 minutes, until they begin to caramelize. Stir in the garlic, smoked paprika, nutmeg and chilli flakes, cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked rice, tomato paste and two tablespoons of water.
Chop the thicker ends of the dill leaves, stir into the mixture, bring to a boil and season to taste; add a little more water if the mixture seems dry.
Scrape the filling mixture into the cabbage-lined pan and use the remaining blanched cabbage leaves to make a lid, tucking them around the edges to create a seal. Drizzle with a little more oil, put a weight on it (a plate or smaller pan will do) and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, until the bottom is caramelized.
Transfer the pie onto a large plate and serve hot or cold with sour cream, the crispy dill tops and some rye bread crumbs.