We all lead busy lives. Finding the right recipes to keep our diet interesting and to be able to feed the family with the same meal, rather than having to cook different food for yourself and then something for the rest of the family all takes time. I thought it would be helpful to start giving you some of the ones I have found really good and tasty. This recipe has whole grain barley which is a slow converting carbohydrate and some of your essential 5-a-day. With the cooler weather on the way it is a nice ‘feel-good’ meal. It can also be pre-prepared and just requires the last stage of cooking before serving.
Cabbage Rolls with Barley and Tomatoes
(serves 4 as a main course)
|8||Large green cabbage leaves||8|
|3||Large tomatoes, cored||3|
|100g||Pearl barley, rinsed under cold running water and drained||3 ½ oz|
|1 ½ tsp||Dried oregano or 3 tsp chopped fresh oregano||1 ½ tsp|
|2||Garlic cloves, quartered||2|
|60 ml||Red wine vinegar or cider vinegar||2 fl oz|
|2 tbsp||Good vegetable oil||2 tbsp|
|150 g||Courgettes, cut into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes||5 oz|
|¼ tsp||Salt||¼ tsp|
|3||Spring onions, m, cut into 1 cm (½ inch)||3|
|Freshly ground black pepper|
|30 g||Parmesan cheese, freshly grated||1 oz|
- In a large pan, bring 1 litre (1 ¾ pints) of water to the boil.
- Cut a shallow cross on the bottom of each tomato.
- Immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water. As soon as the skins begin to peel away from the crosses remove the tomatoes and set aside.
- Add the barley and half the oregano to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook, covered, until all the water is absorbed – about 45 mins.
- Transfer the barley to a bowl
- While the barley is cooking, skin and seed the tomatoes, then coarsely chop them.
- Place the chopped tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, 1 tbsp of oil in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
- In another pan, bring 2 litres (3 ½ pints) water to the boil. Add the cabbage leaves and cook them, uncovered until they are limp – 8-10 mins. Drain the leaves.
- When cool enough to handle cut the thick core from the base of each leaf, then set aside.
- In a large, heavy frying pan, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the Courgettes, the remaining oregano, salt and pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the spring onions and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Pour all but 125 ml (4 fl oz) of the puréed tomatoes into the pan; cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened – about 10 mins. Add the contents of the pan to the bowl of barley. Sprinkle in the grated parmesan cheese and stir well to combine the mixture.
- Place about one eighth of the mixture at the stem end of a cabbage leaf. Roll up the leaf from stem to tip, turning in the sides of the leaf after the first roll. Repeat the process with the other leaves, distributing the barley mixture evenly among them.
- Pour the reserved tomato purée into large frying pan with a lid. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the pan.
- Cover the pan and cook the rolls over low heat for 15 mins.
- Serve immediately.