White cabbage is widely used vegetable in Russia, it’s eaten raw in salads, pickled to eat during the winter and braised in various stews.
Nowadays it’s pretty popular to eat healthy dishes, such as cauliflower soup, sautéed Brussels sprout, fish with broccoli and etc. It seems like everybody forgets about this simple beauty – the white cabbage.
Even Greek philosopher Pythagoras said: “It is a vegetable, that helps to have a courage and cheerful mood”. In ancient Russia it was a belief, that if one has a headache, they should cover their temples with cabbage leaves to release the pain.
The below recipe is a very simple dish with a modern twist, using fresh ricotta and your favorite cheese. It could be eaten alone or as a nice side dish. A must try! 🙂
Cabbage casserole with farmer cheese
Adapted from Russian magazine ‘The school of gastronomy’
400-500g white cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced
100-150g fresh homemade ricotta/cottage cheese/farmer cheese
60g any grated cheese + 1Tbsp for the top (Emmental/Gouda/Red Cheddar)
1Tbsp Parmesan cheese for the top, optionally
2 big or 3 small eggs, whites and yolks separated
400ml milk (preferably low fat)
2Tbsp bread crumbs, homemade
pinch of nutmeg, cumin
1Tbsp fresh chopped dill or 1tsp dried
salt, white pepper to taste
1Tbsp olive oil+1Tbsp butter for frying
1) First, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and turn the heat to low. Sift the flour into the butter, stirring continuously to combine them. Add the milk a little at a time. Cook for 8 minutes more, stirring continuously until the sauce becomes thicker. Remove the saucepan from the stove and let it cool.
2) Meanwhile, put olive oil, butter and onion in a pan, and fry for 4 minutes. Add cumin and fry for 1 minute more.
Add the cabbage, sprinkle with dill and stir fry for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the cabbage into big bowl.
3) Add egg yolks into the sauce, one at a time, nutmeg and combine thoroughly.
4) Pour the sauce into the cabbage, add cheese, ricotta, salt, white pepper and give it a good stir.
5) Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy, then carefully combine with cabbage mixture.
6) Grease the baking pan with butter, sprinkle with bread crumbs, add the cabbage mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in preheated oven 180C/360F for 40 minutes.
7) Serve warm. Enjoy!