Saturday, 23 April 2011

Cheesy Cabbage Bake

My mum and stepdad have a fairly extensive vegetable garden and orchard, and as a result almost all of our fruit and veg is home-grown. We're almost always eating in season, and it's as fresh as possible - in the summer we walk out of the door with a pair of clean scissors and cut ourselves a salad.

At the moment there's a bumper crop of cabbages, and as I type a full-scale blanching operation is going on in the kitchen in order to store some of it. I never used to think I liked cabbage but that's definitely turned out not to be true and just in the last week I've eaten it three times.

Tonight I decided to cook the evening meal, and I knew there was a cabbage waiting to be eaten. So I scoured the internet for decent cabbage recipes and chose one that looked both simple and delicious. I would link to it, but unfortunately I've completely forgotten where I found it. Anyway, as invariably happens, as soon as I reached the kitchen the recipe started to change. Here's what we ended up eating.

Image copyright The Gardeners Calendar

Cheesy Cabbage Bake

One large spring green cabbage
One medium onion, sliced
Some mushrooms, sliced (I used four, but more would have been nice)
Grated cheese (I grated about 100g, but again more would have been nice)

Preheat oven to 180C.
Separate your cabbage leaves and wash carefully, evicting any tenants.
Remove the stems by slicing down each side from top to bottom.
Place a layer of cabbage on the bottom of a large casserole dish.
Sprinkle some of your grated cheese on top.
Place another layer of cabbage.
Cover with mushroom, onion and cheese.
Place another layer of cabbage.
Repeat until you run out of mushrooms etc. Aim for at least four layers of cabbage.
Cover with a final layer of cabbage, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes until tender.

Serve with mashed potato and peas or similar. Remember to pour the cooking liquid over the servings for added moisture.

Any left-over cabbage can be blanched and frozen if necessary.

The resulting recipe was pleasant, although the portions were too small as I underestimated the shrinking abilities of cabbage. The quantities suggested above are vague as this recipe can be adapted to any number of people - just use more than you think you will need of everything.

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