Recipe Image

Lebanese Cabbage Rolls

  • 1 h 15 m
  • 2 h
Bruce Aidells
“These Lebanese cabbage rolls are stuffed with lamb and infused with the flavors of turmeric, ground ginger and allspice.”

Ingredients

    • ½ cup bulgur
    • 1 large head Savoy cabbage
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups finely chopped onion
    • 1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
    • Pinch of ground cinnamon
    • 12 ounces ground lamb
    • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • ½ cup white wine
    • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
    • 1 egg yolk

Directions

  • 1 Prepare bulgur according to package directions; transfer to a medium bowl.
  • 2 Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • 3 Bring 2½ cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Trim bottom of cabbage and separate leaves. Add the 8 largest leaves to the boiling water, cover, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a clean work surface to cool. Reserve the remaining leaves.
  • 4 Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and leeks. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, allspice and cinnamon; cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the bulgur and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb, parsley, mint and lightly beaten egg. Gently knead the mixture with your hands until well blended.
  • 5 Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with some of the uncooked cabbage leaves. Place about ½ cup of filling over the root end of each cooked leaf. Fold in the sides and roll up to form a bundle. Lay the cabbage rolls seam-side down in the pan. Combine wine, broth, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with foil.
  • 6 Bake until the thicker ribs of the cabbage leaves are very tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a roll registers at least 165°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • 7 Transfer the rolls and cabbage leaves to a serving platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Carefully pour the juice from the pan into a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until reduced by about half, 6 to 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk the reduced liquid into the lemon-yolk mixture, then pour the sauce back into the pan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. (Take care not to overheat the sauce or the egg will curdle.) Serve the rolls with the sauce.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare cabbage leaves (Step 3); make stuffing (Steps 1 & 4), omit egg; refrigerate separately up to 1 day. Add egg and continue with Steps 5-7.
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