A spicy filling of rice and garbanzo beans lends Middle Eastern intrigue to these stuffed cabbage rolls.
1 large Savoy cabbage
2 cups cooked rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
1. Butter the bottom of a nonreactive Dutch oven or wide casserole. Separate the head of cabbage and select 12 well-formed leaves. Drop the leaves into a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook, uncovered, at a gentle bubble for 2 minutes. Lift them out and immediately submerge in cold water. Drain, underside up, on absorbent paper. Holding a sharp knife parallel to the leaf, slice off any protruding portion of the central rib. Invert each leaf so that it forms a cup.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper. Add the beans and parsley and blend well. Spoon a generous tablespoon of filling onto a cabbage leaf at the stem end. Roll up the leaf, tucking in the sides to form a neat bundle. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
3. Transfer to the prepared Dutch oven, seam side down, and pack tightly so the leaves won't unroll. Pour on enough water to cover the rolls. Add the garlic and cover the pan. Simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes more. Lift out the bundles with a slotted spoon and serve hot or lightly chilled. Sprinkle with additional lemon juice, if you wish.