Mediterranean Cabbage Rolls

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Cabbage rolls are one of those things that I thought were exclusively carnivorean.

Carnivorean? Ok. Let’s roll with it.

Much like this guy,…

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…my lack of accurate research and false assumptions led me to conclude that such a delight just failed to exist.

Good thing that I was wrong.

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On both accounts.

1. Polkaroo is, indeed, alive and well.
2. Vegetarian cabbage rolls are not nearly as evasive as I previously believed them to be.

And when they are stuffed with mediterranean flavours and simmered in a simple homemade tomato sauce, they really are tasty.

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All the stars in my world are aligning.

Now, if only Polk.Dot.Door. were to be re-aired, my life might just be complete.

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Mediterranean Cabbage Rolls

Adapted from Eating Well

4 1/4 cups water, divided
8 large Savoy or green cabbage leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup whole-wheat couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish

1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Add cabbage leaves, cover, reduce
heat to medium-high and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for at least 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the cabbage leaves to a clean work surface to cool. Discard the water and dry the pan.
4. Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile stir feta, olives and 2 tablespoons mint into the couscous. Mound about 1/2 cup of the couscous mixture at the stem end of each cabbage leaf. Roll into a bundle, tucking in the sides.

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6. When the tomato sauce is ready, add the cabbage rolls seam-side down. Cover and cook until the rolls are hot all the way through and the cabbage is very tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve the cabbage rolls topped with the sauce. Garnish with mint, if desired.

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