During Serbian Orthodox Lent and Advent, meat and dairy are strictly prohibited. For cabbage lovers, these vegetable sarma or posna sarma (where "posna" means Lenten or fasting) allow one to indulge in a favorite food while still following the church's strictures.
Makes 6 servings of Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage - Posna Sarma
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 3 Cubanelle or sweet peppers, finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked long-grain rice
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) head cabbage
- 1 (32-ounce) jar sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (10-3/4-ounce) can tomato soup
- Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add celery, carrots, peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add rice, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool and mix in garlic.
- Meanwhile, steam cabbage until leaves are limp and pull away easily. Continue to remove as many leaves as possible.
- With a paring knife, remove tough ribs from leaves without damaging leaves. Reserve tougher outer leaves but don't use for rolling.
- Heap 2 tablespoons vegetable filling on each leaf, fold top of the cabbbage leaf up over filling, then fold sides to the center, and roll away from yourself to encase completely. Repeat until filling is gone.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Discard the cabbage core and coarsely chop any remaining cabbage except the tough outer leaves you have reserved.
- Spread chopped cabbage on the bottom of a large casserole dish or Dutch oven. Add the sauerkraut.
- Layer on the cabbage rolls, seam side down. Cover rolls with reserved outer leaves. Mix tomato sauce and soup with enough water to make a liquidy consistency. Pour over rolls until mixture is level with rolls but not over the top.
- Cover casserole dish and bake 1 hour. Let sit 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Freezes well.