Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Stuffed Cabbage: Giant cous-cous, pepper & tomato


6 Savoy cabbage leaves, 2 bell peppers, 6 baby plum tomatoes, 1 cup Giant (aka Israeli) cous-cous (I bought mine fromMillie's Organic in Leeds), Rachel's Organic Greek Yoghurt, mozarella, 1 tsp chilli powder, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp tomato puree.

Serves: preparation: 30

I often get dejected emails from people who cannot or choose not to eat products containing flour and I'm always surprised by how many of them do not ever think of wrapping the contents of a sandwich in iceberg lettuce rather than bread or a tortilla, or don't think of using a razor thin shaving of courgette or other vegetables to replace pasta in tagliatelle or cannelloni. The same goes for the humble cabbage leaf. I would far rather use savoy cabbage over vine leaves - they taste fantastic, they're more robust and easier to handle and the fabulous wrinkly texture is perfect for stuffing because all the little nooks and crannies are filled. This dish has a gorgeous creamy sauce on the outside and a richer, slightly spicy centre.

1) Pour the cous-cous into a pan of boiling salted water and stir through for 6-8 minutes before straining in a sieve and setting aside to cool.

2) Slice the tops from the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Remove the portions of flesh from between the membranes and slice into strips. Roast in the oven along with the whole tomatoes for 15 minutes at 200 degrees, drizzled with a little oil.

3) Peel and crush the garlic and sautee in a little butter along with the spices and tomato puree, then stir in the peppers and tomatoes and the cous-cous.

4) Blanch the cabbage leaves in hot, salted water for 5 minutes, then plunge into ice-cold water so that the leaves retain their colour.

5) Dry thoroughly (I found shaking them outside before patting them with kitchen roll to be the easiest way) and spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the centre. Roll up as you would a burrito and place seam side down in a casserole dish - as below.

6) Grate mozarella into Greek yoghurt and spoon over as much as you wish. Rather than completely covering the cabbage, I thought a tablespoon and a half or so on top of each leaf to be sufficient. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the sauce bubbles and serve!

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