Cabbage isn’t always as popular as its cruciferous cousins kale and broccoli, but it should be. Cabbage is a rockstar vegetable: it’s cheap, versatile and packs a seriously healthy punch. If you’re trying to save money, cabbage is practically a steal at an average of $0.58 per pound for green cabbage (that’s $0.25 per cup!).
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- 1 cup water
- ½ cup short-grain brown rice
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 large Savoy cabbage (2-3 pounds)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- ½ teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus ⅛ teaspoon, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes (see Tips)
- To prepare cabbage & filling: Combine water, rice and 1 teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain the barest simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, half fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and place near the stove.
- Using a small, sharp knife, remove the core from the bottom of the cabbage. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. As the leaves soften, use tongs to gently remove 8 large outer leaves. Transfer the leaves to the baking sheet and pat with more towels to thoroughly dry. Set aside.
- Drain the remaining cabbage in a colander for a few minutes. Finely chop enough to get about 3 cups. (Save any remaining cabbage for another use.)
- Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, sage, rosemary and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add a little splash of water and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 3 minutes more. Add the mixture to the cooked rice.
- Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high. Add the chopped cabbage, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the rice mixture.
- To prepare sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes; bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- To stuff cabbage: Place a reserved cabbage leaf on your work surface; cut out the thick stem in the center, keeping the leaf intact. Place about ¾ cup filling in the center. Fold both sides over the filling and roll up. Repeat with the remaining 7 leaves and filling.
- Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls, seam side down, on the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
- Bake, uncovered, basting twice with the sauce, until hot, about 45 minutes.
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 10, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
- Sodium amounts vary widely among brands of plum and crushed. And although it can be hard to find any labeled “no-salt-added,” for the best tomato flavor I use brands that have little or no added sodium. Compare nutrition labels and choose one that has 190 mg sodium or less per ½-cup serving.