We long for Spring and soon it will be here! The way we eat, the attention we have for the ingredients we choose for preparing our dishes tell a little bit about the way we train our body and spirit to welcome the new Spring season. Soon, it will be green everywhere, new leaves on the branches of trees, new buds, new flowers and then new early produce to pick day by day in small green terraces or kitchen gardens or find by the local food markets.
Even at Wintertime green vegetables can be a great source of inspiration for delicious light dishes. For example, take a humble crisp green leafed Savoy cabbage, which is a cheap versatile ingredient, commonly used in the kitchen, and, most of all, it is rich in healthy nutrients, minerals and vitamins. You can even have it raw in colorful tasty salads.
The Savoy cabbage is one of the main ingredients for the dish I cooked and I’m just to introduce. Ingredients are: leaves of Savoy cabbage, a couple of espresso coffee cups of rice (I used organic “ribe” rice), a clove of garlic, a small half of chopped red onion, some leaves of parsley, half glass of wine (your choice/I chose a fruity, mineral, salty tasted white wine), a thin slice of Bologna mortadella, a generous handful of Parmigiano and Fontina grated cheese, extra virgin olive oil, a good sprinkle of turmeric and hot pepper.
In a saucepan, let’s cook the rice, which will be the filling for the leaves of Savoy cabbage. First of all, let’s pour some extra virgin olive oil in the saucepan, then add the clove of garlic, the red onion, some parsley. As soon as the extra virgin olive oil will start sizzling, add the rice. Gently fry it for a couple of minutes. Pour some wine and let it surround the “ribe” rice with its fragrance, giving peculiar taste and character to this latter, until it will evaporate. Slowly add boiling water in the saucepan, not too much to cover the rice, not too little, in order to control the cooking process of rice, which, in the end, will absorb just the right quantity of water and will be “al dente”. Add turmeric and hot pepper powder while you are still cooking the rice and be sure it won’t be necessary to add salt. Indeed, the wine at first and then the turmeric should provide the right balance of salty taste without adding salt. When the rice is almost done, add small thin stripes of Bologna mortadella, grated Parmigiano and Fontina and “manteca” (stir) the rice gently until the cheese melts and the rice gets little creamy.
Boil some water in a large cooking pot and add the leaves of Savoy cabbage just for few minutes in order to have them little softer. Drain and fill them with the rice you just cooked. Make rolls. Place gently each stuffed roll in a baking tray and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Put the baking tray in the oven (160° C) for few minutes to get the rolls warmer and serve them with a good sauce if you like it. May I suggest a Parmigiano or an aioli sauce?
Wishing everybody ” Bon Appétit”.