Mushroom Barley Stuffed Cabbage

This vegetarian alternative to classic stuffed cabbage rolls is a favorite of our many young vegetarian guests. It has become more and more common for some of our student guests to be serious vegetarians. My in-laws also became vegetarians over the past 15 years, so I try to keep a variety of substantial and interesting recipes handy for family gatherings. This particular recipe is based on one from Anna Thomas, The Vegetarian Epicure II, Alfred Knopf, 1978. I use the same method here as for the meat-stuffed cabbage rolls, that is, I freeze the head of cabbage to denature the leaves and make them easier to separate without par-boiling.


Put the cabbage in the freezer the night before preparing this dish. Then defrost in the microwave, and separate the leaves. Wash each leaf. Put a rounded tablespoon of stuffing in each leaf, and roll from the thick end. Heat the oil in a large skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and paprika in it until the garlic is golden. Add the tomatoes and red wine, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 1/2 hour. Oil a 2 quart, shallow baking dish. Put half of the sauce into the dish, arrange the cabbage rolls on the sauce, and cover with the remaining sauce. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.
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