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Chorizo-Stuffed Cabbage with Carrot and Tomato Sauce
These flavorful cabbage bundles, stuffed with a spicy chorizo filling and braised in a sweet carrot tomato sauce, are sure to impress your guests. You can make both the cabbage rolls and the sauce two to three days ahead of time; simply bring to room temperature before you reheat and serve.
1 cabbage, (cored (we used cone-shaped ‘Murdoc’ cabbage))
Flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel, (for finishing)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Remove 12†“16 large cabbage leaves from head; cut out tough parts of stems with a paring knife. Blanch cabbage leaves to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove and cool immediately in ice bath. Lay cooled leaves out on clean kitchen towels and pat dry to remove moisture. Repeat blanching and cooling process with scallion greens.
Preheat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and coat it with olive oil. Slice sausage casings open lengthwise and crumble chorizo meat into pot. Sauté for 8†“10 minutes to brown the sausage, then add kale and chile and cook for another 10†“12 minutes, until kale starts to soften. Stir in onions, garlic, and carrots and sauté for 3 minutes, or until softened, then add rice and season generously with pepper and a little salt, if needed. Stir to combine, then spread out filling on a baking sheet to cool.
To assemble cabbage rolls, lay out a dry cabbage leaf on a work surface and spoon 2†“3 tablespoons chorizo filling into the center. Roll up leaf around filling as if you were making a burrito, tucking in both ends as you go. If leaf is not large enough to fully enclose filling, place cabbage roll on top of a second large leaf and roll to enclose the open ends. Or arrange 2†“3 smaller cabbage leaves so they overlap to create a larger surface area, then roll them up around the filling.
To tie cabbage roll closed, tightly wrap a long piece of scallion greens lengthwise around roll and secure with two overhand knots. For added length, tie two scallion tops together.Repeat with remaining chorizo filling, cabbage leaves, and scallion greens to make about 8 cabbage rolls total.
Preheat a braiser (or any heavy-bottomed pan wide enough to fit all the cabbage rolls in a single layer) over medium heat. Coat cabbage rolls on both sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange in the hot pan. Pour tomato sauce over rolls, cover pan, and cook for 15†“20 minutes, until rolls are tender and cooked through. Meanwhile, drizzle baguette slices with olive oil and toast them on a grill or in a broiler.
Plate cabbage rolls, spooning tomato sauce on top, and drizzle with a little nice olive oil and basil oil (if using). Garnish with hand-torn basil leaves, micro chives, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Serve grilled bread alongside.
Carrot and Tomato Sauce
Olive oil, (as needed)
½ onion, (chopped)
1 clove garlic, (finely chopped)
½ Fresno chile pepper, (cored, seeded, and finely chopped)
2 cups fresh vegetable juice ((we used Biotta brand))
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and coat it with olive oil. Add onions, garlic, and chile and cook for 2†“3 minutes to soften. Stir in tomatoes, carrot juice, and vegetable juice and season with a little salt and plenty of pepper. Cook until tomato sauce is reduced by about half, 25†“30 minutes.