There is very little that is inspiring in a blog post entitled "Cabbage Bake". In fact I had considered calling this post something else just to get your attention, but if you have made it this far, please stick with me, I hope you won't be disappointed. The fact is, during my blogging hiatus* we've cooked this dish on more than one occasion, so it feels only right that it gets a look in.
Now, I'm not the kind of person that will revisit a dish unless it's worth eating, so that should tell you something. I can't remember the exact details on the night we first cooked it, but tonight we had good reason to look up the recipe again in Russian, German & Polish Food and Cooking by Lesley Chamberlain. That reason was being in possession of a whole savoy cabbage that we needed to eat before another one turned up a couple of days later.
But why bother buying another cabbage if you already have one? Well, since giving up Supermarkets for Lent we have been using the excellent Market Delivered service to get fresh fruit and vegetables from Kirkgate Market on an almost weekly basis. We have found that the secret to veg boxes is to wait until the order has turned up and then meal plan. As we're still not clear of the "hungry gap" in the growing season, cabbages are turning up in most boxes, so using them is always on our minds.
We often steam cabbage, to have as a side veg, or add it to stir fries and curries, but this week we had managed to neglect our cabbage altogether. Our need to get it eaten was therefore high, before it became that most horrible of things, wasted food. We needed a recipe that would use it all not just a few leaves and that is where the cabbage bake comes in.
The shredded cabbage is cooked in a little stock until just soft, drained, seasoned and spread into an oven proof dish. The cabbage is topped with a layer of sliced tomatoes and then baked for 30 to 40 minutes. Nothing could be simpler. We happened to have a pack of kielbasa sausages that I'd picked up from our local Lithuanian store, so we chopped them up and added them to the cabbage before adding the tomato lid. I know that makes calling this a vegetarian dish a flight of fancy, but trust me, it works just as well without the meat.
*it's been over seventy days since my last post.