Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

In Eastern Europe, stuffed cabbage rolls are traditionally served on Sukkot. This one is a favorite, as it is light and sweet and sour. Like all stuffed cabbage recipes, this is a bit time-consuming, but you can do it in stages, and because it freezes well, you can make it in advance.



2 tablespoons kosher salt

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2 medium heads cabbage (about 3 pounds each)


1 onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves, quartered

1 Idaho baking potato, peeled and cut in large pieces

1 large egg

1 pound veal and 1 pound beef, ground together

1/2 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup raw long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


2 Granny Smith apples

4 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces

2 onions, quartered

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup golden raisins

6 ounces dried apricots, diced

1 can (35 ounces) imported peeled tomatoes

1 can (28 ounces) imported crushed tomatoes

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

2 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, plus more as needed

1 cup chicken broth


Cabbage leaves: 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the salt. With the point of a knife, cut out some of the hard center core of the cabbages. Remove and discard any bruised and discolored leaves. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and boil for a few minutes, turning the cabbage often. Remove the cabbage from the water by piercing the core with a large fork and lifting out the head.

To remove the leaves without damaging them, cut where they are attached at the core, then peel off. If necessary, return the cabbage to the boiling water to soften the leaves. Shred the small center leaves.

Repeat this process for the second cabbage. (You can do this earlier in the day or the night before. Place the leaves in a tightly sealed zip-top plastic bag and refrigerate until needed.)


Place the onion, garlic, potato and egg in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add the meat, parsley, rice, tomato paste and soy sauce. Mix with your hands to combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To fill the cabbage leaves: 

Spread each cabbage leaf on a cutting board and cut out some of the center rib. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center. Starting from the smaller end, roll the cabbage halfway, fold the sides toward the center and roll tightly to the end. Continue until all the filling has been used.

To make the sauce: 

Peel, core and quarter the apples. Chop the apples, carrots and onions in a food processor, one at a time. (Chopping each ingredient separately preserves its distinct texture.)

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the apples, carrots and onions, and saute for a few minutes. Remove to a large bowl and add the parsley, raisins, apricots, peeled and crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar and broth.

To cook the rolls: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rolls near each other, seam side down, in an enamel-lined saucepan large enough to hold the rolls in 2 or 3 layers. Scatter the leftover shredded cabbage on top. Add the sauce. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. (If the heat is too high, the bottom will burn.)

Cover the pan with heavy foil and a tight-fitting lid. Place in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Season the sauce to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Makes about 3 dozen small rolls.