Wednesday, April 6, 2011


While not as savory and tasty as regular pork and smoked meat laden sarma, this recipe is sure to please the palate during Lent. Serve it with a boiled potato if you wish!

• 30 to35 cabbage leaves …..2 heads of cabbage
• 2 ½ cups of partially cooked rice (preferably brown rice) or pearl barley
• 3 large onions, finely chopped
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 2 grated carrots
• 1 cup chopped celery
• ¼ olive oil
• 2 sm cans mushroom, chopped
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
• ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 teaspoon of cumin
• 1 tsp Cavender’s Greek seasoning (optional)
• 1 hot or jalapeno pepper, halved (I add this to almost everything I make!)
• 1 lg 28oz can tomatoes, finely chopped
• 3 to 4 cups of water (approximately)
• 2 T vegetable base

Make the filling: Combine onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, cumin, in olive oil and saute in pan for 5 minutes. Let cool in large bowl.
Add 2 ½ cups rice in 5 cups water and boil for 20 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Brown rice is not done at this point. It will continue to cook and swell in size during baking. Let cool. Combine with above items and add 2 cans chopped mushrooms and season to taste.

Prepare cabbage leaves: Remove the core of the cabbage, and stick a large fork into the center. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 3 Tbs of white vinegar, and immerse the cabbage to loosen the outer leaves. When the outer leaves start loosening, remove them using the fork. Return to pot and repeat until all cabbage leaves have been removed. Chop middle part of cabbage and place on the bottom and corners of roaster or greased pan.

Prepare rolls: Remove hard core from each leaf. Place about ¼ cup filling for each roll at the core end, roll , fold in each side and roll up. Roll loosely as they swell during cooking. Place each sarma seam side down in your pan. (They may be flash frozen at this point and used at a later date. This recipe makes enough for a large roaster pan. My large roasting pan no longer fits in my new oven, so I make the same amount and freeze the rest
Place tomatoes on top and cover with 3 to 4 cups of water which has 2 T of vegetable base or Vegeta added. Cover with foil
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hour.
Make a zafrig or roux and pour over sarma and slightly mix adding more water if need and bake for another 30 minutes. This is optional. Taste at this point to determine if you want more flavor.

Zafrig (roux)
• ⅓ cup oil
• 1 large onion
• ⅓ cup flour
• ½ tsp paprika
Prepare the zafrig (roux). Use equal parts oil to flour. Saute onion in oil in skillet until translucent. Add flour, salt, pepper and paprika (for slight color), stirring to prevent burning, until zafrig starts to brown (5 minutes maybe). Remove from heat and pour over soup, using the liquid from the sarma to mix the roux.