I know that in colder climes, the only vegetable that stands proud and unruffled in the midst of snow and frost, is the winter cabbage. Oh…and leeks …but that’s for another time… I know this because I have an allotment.
In the frosts and snow, there are the winter cabbages, looking a lot like triffids, impervious to the cold temperatures.
I can only imagine that in the snowier regions of Russia, cabbage fields abound. Which is probably why Russian cookbooks provide so many fabulous and interesting cabbage dishes.
Despite the globalisation of food, and our desire to have varied diet, I have a soft spot for eating vegetables that are seasonal. Flavoured with seasonal herbs. It feels right somehow.
This dish is there to warm you on the coldest and the snowiest of days. Warming and comforting and inherently good. I am in love with cabbage pie.
Cabbage, salt and lots of pepper, are, in my humble opinion, a match made in heaven.
Sautéed with onion, wrapped in a soft light bread dough, and, on this occasion, served with Russian-style, boiled, sautéed potatoes tossed in plenty of garlic and vegan-butteriness. And a dollop of vegan sour cream.
A winter’s feast.
Russian Cabbage Pie, with Sautéed Garlic Potatoes and Vegan Sour Cream
- 3tbs. a hot oil, such as grapeseed oil
- 1 firm green winter cabbage – approx. 500gms.
- 1 large onion
- 2tbs. finely-ground dried herbs : e.g. dill, rosemary, thyme, parsley
- 1.5tsps. salt
- 0.5 – 1 tsp. pepper
Traditionally Kulebjaka includes chopped hard boiled eggs, for protein and texture. To ‘veganise’ this dish I have added:
- 150gms. cooked white beans
- 150gms. sliced fried mushrooms
- 250gms. plain flour ( Iused 125gms. white spelt + 125gms. strong white bread flour)
- 1tbs. oil. (I used grapeseed oil).
- 1 tsp.salt
- 9gms. quick acting yeast
- approx. 160ml. warm water
- A little oil and non-dairy milk to seal and baste dough.
- Prepare the dough a couple of hours in advance:
- Mix together flour, yeast, and salt.
- Add 1 tbs. oil.
- Add approx. 160ml warm water and combine thoroughly.
- Knead gently for 8-10 mins. until dough is soft and stretchy.
- Drizzle a little olive oil into a bowl to stop the dough sticking, place the dough in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Wash and shred cabbage. Remove toughest stalks.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Slice the mushrooms.
- In a wide pan, add 2tbs. oil, and fry mushrooms until golden. 5 -8 mins.
- Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.
- In a deep saucepan, with a tight fitting lid, add 150ml. water.
- Add shredded cabbage, and cover.
- Bring to boil and steam cabbbage 3mins.
- Add 1 tbs. oil to a wide pan and sauté onions gently until soft. 5-8mins.
- Add herbs, salt and pepper. 30 secs. (be your own judge as to how peppery you like it)
- On a low heat, add steamed cabbage, and combine with onions. 2-3 mins.
- Add 150gms. cooked white beans + fried mushrooms. Combine.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
When dough is ready:
- Lightly oil baking tray approx. 30cm x 40cm in size.
- On a lightly floured board, roll out dough slightly longer and wider than baking tray.
- Drape dough over tray.
- Spoon cabbage filling down centre of dough.
- Baste edges of dough with oil/non-dairy milk mixed together in a small bowl.
- Bring dough sides together and seal along the middle.
- Fold over ends of dough.
- Fork the dough all over and then baste with oil/milk mixture.
- Allow pie to rest for 15mins. before placing in a pre-heated oven Gas Mk.5/190C 45-55mins until golden.
- Wash enough potatoes. Preferably a thin-skinned variety.
- Cut in half if too big.
- Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.
- In 2 tbs. oil, sauté potatoes for about 8 mins. Turning occasionally.
- Place a little vegan-buttery spread in a bowl with 3-4 crushed garlic cloves.
- Toss sautéed potatoes in garlic when ready to serve.
Vegan sour cream:
There are many recipes on the net for vegan sour cream.
I made a cashew sour cream:
- 75gms. cashews soaked
- 60ml. water
- 2 tsps. nutritional yeast
- salt + pepper
- juice 1/2 lemon
- Blend everything together until very smooth. Chill.