A Greek style risotto, with cabbage and a touch of curry powder to give it an exotic flair. A great meatless weeknight meal that’s inexpensive and very easy to make (no endless stirring involved).
On a Greek menu, when you see something ending in –oryzo, it means it’s a dish usually comprising of a vegetable braised with rice, or in some cases legumes with rice. The most popular is probably spanakoryzo (spinach rice), but there are also, among others, the lovely prasoryzo (leek rice), ntomatoryzo (tomato rice), and of course our lahanoryzo (cabbage rice). Legume dishes are usually fakoryzo (lentil rice), fasouloryzo (bean rice) and revithoryzo (chickpea rice).
Greek lesson over. Back to our cabbage rice. I made this after our neighbour shared a huge cabbage that his grocer gave him as a gift. I don’t often buy it myself, as it’s only me who eats it and it’s hard for one person to get through a whole head of cabbage on their own. So when the doorbell rang and I was presented with this lovely, fresh, organic beauty, I immediately started thinking of ways to use it. I love lahanoryzo so it seemed a good option, and after a bit of a brainwave I decided to add a touch of curry powder to see what happens. As it turns out, it was a good idea.
There are a billion versions of Greek cabbage rice out there, all of them really tasty. This one has few main ingredients, but the addition of the spices makes it really flavoursome. It’s best enjoyed with some grated parmesan, although next time I might try it with feta too!
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 stick celery, chopped (you could use the leaves as well if you want)
1/4 head of cabbage, medium to large, shredded to medium thickness
2 cups hot stock (I used homemade veggie; recipe here)
1/4 cup long grain rice
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water if necessary during braising
grated parmesan to serve
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Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium to low heat, and gently cook the onion for about 2 minutes till it changes colour. Add the celery and continue for another 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, increase to medium heat, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes till it starts to soften and wilt.
Add the stock and when it starts to bubble lower the heat and let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the rice, spices and seasoning, stir well and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes till the rice is cooked and the excess liquid is absorbed. During this time you might need to add some water (if the rice is not cooked but the liquids in the pan have been absorbed). I needed 1/2 a cup, but keep an eye on it.
Serve with the grated parmesan and fresh crusty bread.
If you are doubling the recipe, start with 3 cups of stock and have another on standby. You might not need it all, it will depend on the water content of your cabbage.