A real treat tonight.
Delightful new twist on an outdated dinner entrée! Stuffed cabbage made modern and healthy. Homemade pesto (my ever classic recipe), ricotta infused quinoa and light cabbage rolled into one.
I have to admit something to you all… I, Rebecca Pliner, am BORED of food. Working daily at the restaurant surrounded by incredibly rich and delicious morsels used to excite me. Maybe I am spoiled. Being around food 24/7 has made me picky as a toddler about what I choose to eat. Going to other restaurants is out of the question. When you know what goes on in kitchens, and run your own kitchen, it feels out of place to sit and be served by someone else. I feel like pouncing out of my seat to join the chef as my meal is being prepared. It is hard to relax and have a hot date night with the hubs while mentally fixing the food. (Sushi is my sole exception)
It is time to awaken my palate. I want to scream at food to entertain me and remind me why I became a blogger and chef in the first place.
Tonight, back to basics was my goal. Fresh herbs, bold and rich flavors explain this dish to the T.
Stuffed cabbage with ricotta infused quinoa and fresh, homemade pesto. Simple and bold flavors. Marinara sauce for the sake of going so well with stuffed cabbage. Protein packed thanks to the quinoa, this was one herb-alicious filling dinner.
I’d like to celebrate my palate being alive again. I believe this is very important for Chefs to be ever surprised by the food they cook.
DAIRY FREE PESTO: Makes 3 cups of pesto.
- 3-4 cups fresh basil, cleaned- leaves only. If using frozen basil- use 4 packages.
- 1 cup walnuts.
- 4 whole garlic cloves.
- Olive oil.
Place garlic cloves and basil into food processor/ blender. Pulse until garlic is fully chopped. Add in walnuts, and a teaspoon of salt. Pulse together. Carefully drizzle in olive oil until desired pesto consistency. Begin with 1/2 cup of good quality olive oil, blend and taste. Add more salt if needed.
ENJOY! It is my go to favorite dip.
Cabbage Rolls: Makes 8 small rolls. Easily doubled.
- 1 small head of green cabbage. Leaves removed- carefully, they tear so easily.
- 2 cups marinara sauce.
- 1 cup ricotta cheese.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cook as per directions.
- Olive oil.
- Garlic powder.
- Shredded cheese- optional. We like cheese on anything and everything.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil water (3/4 way full) in a medium pot, fill with cabbage leaves and cover.
While leaves are bubbling away, begin cooking quinoa. I cooked in a small saucepan 1 cup quinoa = 2 cups water.
When quinoa is finished, stir in the ricotta cheese. Season with salt and garlic powder.
- Boil cabbage leaves for 10 min./ or until tender.
- Drain, let cool/ skip cooling run under cold water.
- How to assemble: In a 9 x 9 baking dish, layer bottom with marinara sauce. Place on leaf on cutting board, fill with one spoonful of ricotta quinoa and a thin layer of fresh pesto. Place rolls on top of marinara- like making a lasagna. Layer with sauce until dish is filled. Top with shredded cheese if desired :).
- Bake for 35 minutes, covered with foil. 15-20 min. uncover the pan to get a nice golden brown hue.
Serve with a small salad, soup and a delicious homemade roll for the perfect dinner!