Adapted from Janet Fletcher’s Fresh from the Farmer’s Market
This is one of my favorite cabbage dishes to make in the winter. It is so warming and creamy and a definite crowd pleasure in my house. I llike to reserve veggie waste each week from cooking (ie..the peeled discards from carrots, onion ends and skins, green tops of leeks, leafy celery tops, turnip tops, etc..) and add it to a bag I keep in the freezer as my “veggie-stock-in-the-making”. When the bag fills, I dump the frozen bits in a stock pot, cover with water and add bay leaf and some coursely ground peppercorns and simmer 1-2 hours before straining. I like to use homemade veggie stock in this dish instead of the suggested chicken broth, but of course both are delicious. Also good, with sauteed fresh mushrooms on top.
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion chopped (or 2 small leeks, chopped)
1 green cabbage, thinly sliced (the thinner the better!)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 ½ cups chicken or veggie broth OR 2 cups broth and 2 cups water
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
¼ tsp grated lemon zest, or more to taste (if you don’t have lemons, try a tiny bit of orange zest)
2 tbsp minced italian parsley
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add onion and saute until soft and sweet about 10 mins (if using leeks instead, lower heat and stir, making sure not to burn). Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 mins. Check occasionally to make sure it is not burning and adjust heat accordingly.
Bring broth water mixture to a simmer in a saucepan and adjust heat to keep it barely simmering. Uncover pot with cabbage and raise heat to moderately high. Add rice and cook, stirring until wine is absorbed. Begin adding hot broth ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding more. Adjust heat so that mixture simmers gently, not vigorously. It should take 20 to 25 minutes for the rice to become al dente-firm to the tooth without a hard core. The mix should be neither soupy nor stiff. You may not need all of the liquid or you may need more, if so, use boiling water.
When rice is done, add remaining tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp lemon zest, the parsley and the cheese. Stir vigorously, then taste and adjust seasonings. You may want more zest, but the taste should be subtle.