The use of cabbage in Greek cuisine is very common and that can be easily understood by the numerous cabbage recipes each region has developed.
Stuffed cabbage rolls (check it out!) and today’s recipe, cabbage and rice stew (Lahanorizo) are amongst the most popular.
The recipe for cabbage and rice stew belongs to a family of recipes that all follow the same principle: A main vegetable is cooked along with rice and, towards the end of the cooking procedure, fresh dill and lemon juice are added.
Traditional recipes like “Spanakorizo” and “Prasorizo” are two perfect examples, in which spinach and leeks are accordingly used.
Cabbage and rice stew recipe started off as a peasant dish.
It was a quick, cheap and easy meal for feeding your family.
The simplicity of the ingredients and its great taste, quickly made it a staple in Greek cuisine.
Cabbage and rice stew is a recipe that, if done properly, can become a favorite for the whole family.
There are some tips to follow in order to get the best cabbage and rice stew. Today, we’ll share them with you.
The secret for recipes which use very few ingredients hides in their quality.
We prefer to use ingredients that are in season, and by knowing how to choose the best, really helps with the final result.
Before we start, let’s choose the right cabbage for cooking!
Choosing the right cabbage
For cabbage and rice stew, you want to use a green cabbage.
When choosing your cabbage, you want it to be firm, with leaves that are crisp and super fresh.
A good cabbage should be heavy for its size.
Avoid cabbages, that have brown, wilted or damaged leaves, as this can indicate that it’s stale or it has been handled badly.
Cabbages are a great vegetable that can store really well for long period of time.
When you are ready to use your cabbage, discard the outer leaves and remove its core.
The heart is too hard for cooking, so you can go ahead and throw it out (if you have chickens, it makes for a lovely little treat!).
How to cut your cabbage
Cutting vegetables can be an art form all on its own.
The size you decide to cut your vegetables, can completely change the texture and the overall taste of your recipe.
In this cabbage and rice stew, you want to cut your cabbage into big square chunks.
This will prevent your cabbage from being overcooked and its texture will still remain crisp.
Cabbage will naturally reduce in size, almost by half, so, if it’s thinly sliced, it will be completely lost during cooking.
How to cook lahanorizo
Cabbage and rice stew, requires less that than 30 minutes of overall cooking.
Half of that time (approximately 17 minutes) is required for sautéing the vegetables and a little less than half (approximately 10 minutes) for the rice and cabbage to cook.
You start off by sautéing the cabbage along with the olive oil on medium heat.
You should constantly stir your cabbage chunks, in order to allow even cooking and to prevent them from browning.
You should sauté your cabbage for about 7 minutes.
At that point, you will notice that the cabbage has wilted and has lost a considerable amount of volume.
You are now ready to add the chopped onions, leeks, carrots and scallions.
Keep on sautéing your vegetables, stirring constantly.
Any pot will work, but you will have better results should you use a wide one.
A wide pot allows for a greater cooking surface, which helps with even cooking.
By sautéing your vegetables on medium heat, you allow them to release their sweetness.
Don’t be tempted to speed up the process, by turning up the heat or closing the lid. Trust us!
Give them some extra time and let their sweet aromas infuse the food.
The cooking times we give you are relative.
There are so many factors that can affect the cooking procedure (size of pot, how heavy your pot is, heat setting, gas flame), so be mindful.
Around 17 minutes, you should add the rice.
Mix well so that the rice is evenly distributed around the cabbage, and add the hot water.
Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil.
Once you bring your food to a boil, turn down heat to medium and simmer.
Rice needs only 10 minutes to be ready. In our recipe, we call for white parboiled rice.
We find it way superior to other types of rice, as it doesn’t become overcooked and you can still feel each individual rice grain in your mouth.
Feel free, though, to use any type of rice you prefer.
You can also half the recipe without losing any of the taste or flavor!
After 10 minutes, your cabbage and rice stew should be ready.
Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and freshly chopped dill.
Give your cabbage and rice stew a good stir and close the lid.
Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
This allows for all the flavors to combine!
Cabbage and rice stew makes for the perfect light meal!
A plus is that it keeps well for a couple of days and it can also be eaten cold.
Give it a try! Let us know how it turned out in the comments or post a photo at #cookouvagia on Instagram.
- 1kg. green cabbage, outer leaves removed, cored & chopped in medium squares
- 110ml. extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium scallions, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 130gr. white parboiled rice
- 500ml. hot water
- 2 cubes bio vegetable stock
- 2 medium lemons, juice only
- ½ bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
Get a 28cm. pot and add the olive oil on medium-high heat.
Add cabbage and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Sauté for 6-7 minutes, stirring constantly until cabbage has reduced in volume.
Add the onion, scallions, carrots, leek and keep on stirring for another 10 minutes.
Add rice and stir until combined.
Pour in hot water and add the cubes of stock.
Bring to boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium.
Simmer for about 10 minutes, until rice is cooked and vegetables are soft, but al dente.
Uncover the pot, add the fresh dill, lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and give them a good stir.
Taste and season again, if needed.
Cover again with a lid and let lahanorizo rest for 5-10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!