Try this stuffed cabbage recipe for the Passover / Pesach festival. Vegetarian recipes are sometimes a challenge to create, but I have tried to simplify this stuffed cabbage recipe by organizing the instructions into easy-to-follow steps.

The following stuffed cabbage recipe is a vegetarian version of the traditional Ashkenazic-Jewish Holishkes recipe (alternate spellings: Holishikes, Holishkas, Halishkes, or Halishkas; pronounced hoh-LIHSH-kuhs). The word "Holishkes" is a Lithuanian-Yiddish translation (one of many translated versions, for instance, "Holishikes" in Polish-Yiddish) of the Russian word "Goluptzi" or "Golubtsy", which means "little pigeons" or "little doves", because it was thought that the packets of filled, rolled cabbage leaves resembled small birds that were at rest. "Goluptzi" or "Golubtsy goes by other names in other languages (Examples: Prakkes or Praakes - both Yiddishized words that perhaps derived from the Greek word "yaprak" which means "stuffed vine leaves", Praches, or Golubtses, "Holubtsi" - "little doves" in Ukrainian, among many other similar-sounding or related names). Holishkes originated in Eastern Europe. Holishkes are essentially cabbage leaves stuffed with meatballs that are baked and served in a tomato-based sweet-and-sour sauce, but there are many varieties of this basic description of Holishkes, for instance, the cabbage leaves could be stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, eggs and seasonings. The stuffed cabbage recipe for Holishkes will vary depending on the geographical origin of the stuffed cabbage recipe. Holishkes are a traditional food served during the Jewish fall harvest festival of Sukkot (alternate spellings: Sukkoth, Sukkos, Succot, Succoth, or Succos), where they are considered a symbol of plenty, but they can also be served for the Passover / Pesach festival. The following stuffed cabbage recipe also respects the concerns of specific vegetarian sub-groups. For instance, lacto-ovo vegetarians, like all vegetarians, eat no meat but permit eggs to be consumed, and so the following stuffed cabbage recipe complies with their particular vegetarian philosophy.

The practise of making stuffed cabbage began in Persia (Iran), and then spread westward to Syria and Egypt, and northwestward to Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, and Romania, among other countries. Since there were so many variations of stuffed cabbage recipes, a plethora of names to describe each stuffed cabbage recipe creation developed over time.

By the way, the term "Ashkenazic" is a descriptive form of "Ashkenazi" or "Ashkenaz" (plural form: "Ashkenazim"). "Ashkenazim" refers to Jews whose ancestors came from Central, Northwestern, and/or Eastern Europe. Now that you're informed of all the terminology on this web page, it's on to the vegetarian stuffed cabbage recipe!

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Lemon and tomato slices for garnish (optional)
3 heads Savoy cabbage

For the stuffing:

1 box matzoh, crumbled
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 - 2 cups almonds, chopped
1 - 2 cups matzoh meal
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
1 - 2 cups dark raisins
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

4 cans (11 oz. each or 311.84 grams each) kosher for Pesach tomato mushroom sauce
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups dry white wine

Instructions for the Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage recipe:

  1. To prepare filling, combine all filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. To prepare sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Core each head of cabbage, and place in a large pot of boiling salted water.
  4. Cover pot and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Drain and cool until the leaves are cool enough to handle.
  6. Discard any torn outer leaves.
  7. Peel off a leaf and lay it down so that the inside faces you; if the bottom is too thick to roll, trim off some of the cabbage so it's flexible.
  8. Place leaf on flat surface.
  9. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling at the core end of the leaf, roll it over once, tuck in both sides, and roll up all the way.
  10. Repeat until all the filling is used up, using only the larger leaves - about two-thirds of each - head.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade).
  12. Place rolls, flap down, in a 9-inch-by-13-inch (or 22.86-centimeter-by-33.02-centimeter) baking pan or casserole, layering if necessary, and pour sauce over rolls.
  13. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for basting and adding during first and second baking.
  14. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, basting occasionally.
  15. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and refrigerate overnight or longer, or freeze for later use (thaw before reheating).
  16. Cook rolls again at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade) for 45-50 minutes, basting and adding sauce if needed.
  17. Garnish with lemon and-or tomato slices, if desired.

Makes 35 stuffed cabbage rolls.

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