Here’s a new Maldon Salt recipe in collaboration with Chef Olia Hercules.
“This draws inspiration from Ukrainian cabbage parcels called holubtsi. This is basically a simpler version that does not require you to form parcels. You can use barley or diced potato, but more often than not I have lots of cooked brown rice (we do a batch every Sunday to use for my son’s packed lunch and for our lunches too), so I like to use it as a stuffing. The tomato stock is lovely and if you are not vegan – will also be lovely with a spoonful of creme fraiche stirred through it.”
- 1 Savoy cabbage
- 3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, roughly grated
- 250g mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 200g leftover cooked or blanched (for 10 minutes) brown rice
- 100g cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- Maldon salt
- Black pepper
- To make the savoy cabbage leaves pliable – put them into a steamer. I use a bamboo one, but you can always use a large metal colander and a lid. Separate, then steam the leaves for about 15 minutes or until soft. I tend not to cut out the stalky bit as it softens enough by the end of cooking and is pleasant to eat.
- For the filling, heat the oil in a large, cast-iron pan and add the onions and a big pinch of Maldon. Cook for about 10 minutes over a medium-low heat, stirring often. You can add little splashes of water and deglaze the pan, if at any point it feels dry.
- Then add the carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 7 minutes. Finally, stir through the chestnuts and the rice and scoop it out into a bowl. No need to clean the pan, just start layering it with the leaves.
- Build the first layer of Savoy cabbage leaves, then scoop in 1/3rd of the filling, then layer some more leaves over, then follow with the fillings again, then leaves, then filling, then leaves.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- For the tomato stock – pour the chopped tomatoes into the same bowl where the filling was. Squash them further with a potato masher. Swirl some water through the tomato tin and pour into the bowl with the tomatoes. If you want – you can also whisk in 2 tbsp of creme fraiche into the mixture. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt and some pepper.
- Pour the mixture over the cabbage lasagne, making sure that none of the garlic is right on top (where it can burn). Pop the pot into the oven and cook for about 45 mins to an hour. The tomato liquid will be reduced, and the top of the lasagne will be nicely charred.
- Serve and enjoy with a big hunk of crusty, fresh bread.