native to New England and the Maritimes, are also known as Jerusalem
artichokes, although they are neither from the Middle East nor are
they remotely related to artichokes. While they are at their best
harvested in the spring following a deep freeze, they are often
harvested in the fall. Savoy cabbage is best for this preparation
because its crinkled leaves are more tender than other heading cabbages.
You may substitute large leaves of Tuscan kale. --SH
head savoy cabbage
kosher salt and fresh milled black pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, white part only, ¼-inch dice
1 shallot, peeled, minced fine
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
8 ounces fresh girasoles, washed and trimmed, ¼-inch dice
1 medium butternut squash, narrow end only, peeled, ¼-inch
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2-4 ounces dry-style hard cider
teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
2 Tablespoons fresh flat parsley leaves, chopped fine
a large pot of salted water to a full boil. Cut the core from the
cabbage, leaving the head intact. Immerse the cabbage in the boiling
water, and with tongs, carefully peep back and remove the leaves
as they soften, dropping them into a bowl filled with cold water.
Lay each leaf of cabbage flat on a cutting board, and with a small
knife remove the tough central vein.
a large skillet, melt the butter, add the vegetables, and sauté
over moderately high flame until the squash begins to tenderize
and the vegetables have begun to brown slightly. Toss in the vinegar,
and boil up for a few seconds. Add the hard cider, boil up, and
reduce until nearly evaporated, tossing the mixture frequently.
Toss in the chopped herbs. Season the mixture with salt and pepper
Select twelve of the best cabbage leaves. Lay the trimmed cabbage
leaves flat on a cutting board, concave face upward. Spoon a heaping
tablespoonful of the squash mixture into the center of each cabbage.
Fold the cabbage leaf over the filling, beginning by crossing the
two lower corners and continuing with the upper round edge, so that
when turned over, each leaf will reveal its fine branching veins
and the filling is enclosed. Lay the stuffed leaves, seam side down,
in a ceramic baking dish without crowding. Sprinkle the cabbages
with a little more olive oil, and pour a little more cider into
the bottom of the pan. Heat thoroughly, uncovered, in a 350º
F oven for about fifteen minutes without browning.