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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Balandeliai (Lithuanian Cabbage Rolls)

Balandeliai makes a hearty, easy meal. Photo by C. Tamulonis, 05/2024.

Common throughout Eastern Europe, this easy stuffed cabbage roll recipe delivers the right amount of flavor, protein and leafy greens.

Balandeliai

Ingredients

1 medium cabbage (Savoy cabbage tends to roll better)

1 pound of ground pork, beef or meat substitute 

1 ½ cup tomato sauce

1 cup beef or vegetable broth

1 small onion diced

1 cup combined of diced celery and bell peppers

1 ½ cups of cooked jasmine rice

1 egg

Salt, pepper, garlic to taste

Optional: sour cream

Directions

  • Make your rice in a rice maker or on the stovetop
  • Blanch your cabbage in a pot of boiling water until it is easy to peel and set aside to cool
  • Sauté your chopped onion and vegetables in a little butter or oil until slightly soft 
  • Mix your rice, meat (or substitute), egg, spices and chopped vegetables in a large bowl
  • Take a paring knife and cut around the core/stem of the cabbage. Begin peeling the cabbage layers off from the crown to the stem, trying to keep the leaves as intact as possible
  • Take a cabbage leaf and with the stem side toward you put around a tablespoon (and a little more depending on the size of the leaf) into the lower center of the leaf. Start rolling up over the meat, folding in the sides of the leaf as you go to create a package
  • Put your cabbage rolls seam side down in a large pan and pour combined tomato sauce and broth over it
  • Simmer for up to an hour or until the meat is cooked through
  • Serve with additional sauce or some sour cream on top

Noshing Notes: you can change out this recipe by using whatever chopped vegetable you enjoy or going completely vegetarian

Suggested Sides: crusty bread, parmesan cheese

Waste Not Want Not: store in an airtight container for three days. Bury inedible leftovers in cold compost. 

Cybele Tamulonis
Cybele Tamulonis, Contributing Writer

Cybele is a writer and editor with more than 16 years in the publishing industry. An avid reader, you can usually find her with the latest new book release from the local library. She currently resides on a farm in Hardwick with her husband and four children. In her spare time, she writes historical fiction specific to New Jersey.