Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) is a traditional Greek winter food. When I was working full time I would make this dish, on weekends – usually on a Sunday - and have left overs the next day. It’s a dish that I avoided making often because of the time it consumed. Of course, you are not going to make this dish every week, or you will get tired of it, like any other type of food that you eat often. There is a less consuming type of cabbage rolls that you can make; and that is without preparing the filling on the stove; but instead mixing all the ingredients together raw. The only thing you will need to do is boil the cabbage leaves. I found that type of preparation though, a bit heavy on the stomach. My mother will always cook the filling on the stove (as per recipe below). In the past I used to mix it raw, but when I quit work, I decided to make it the way my mother used to make it. And Dah! No heartburn, no acid reflux, no heaviness on the stomach (this is on individual preference; it does not affect some people like others). So from then on, I decided, since I love this dish so much, to cook the filling.
There is also another way of cooking the cabbage rolls, and that is baking them in the oven in tomato sauce. Instead of cooking them on the stove, you layer the cabbage rolls in an ovenproof pan, in a single layer, pour a 14 oz can of tomato sauce on top, mixed with 1 cup of water, add the ½-cup olive oil, and bake at 350° for about one hour to an hour and a half. This way is also very delicious. But for now enjoy this wonderful dish in the Avgolemono sauce.
Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce)
Ingredients (Makes 46 servings)
46 cabbage leaves
To boil the cabbage:
8 quarts of water for 1 large cabbage
2 large cabbages about 3lbs each
For the filling:
1 ½ lbs ground turkey
1 cup rice
½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
1 tsp salt or according to taste
½ tsp ground pepper
1 ½ cups water
2 1/2 cups water – enough to cover the cabbage rolls
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
Avgolemono - Egg and lemon sauce:
½ cup lemon juice
Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Place it in a large pot with water and boil. As the cabbage leaves soften, remove the leaves by cutting them at the core. Place them in a colander to strain. When all the leaves are cooked, leave them in the colander to strain and cool. Make sure that you don’t over boil the leaves, otherwise when you try to roll them, they will tear.
In a large frying pan, add the olive oil, and saute the onions and the ground turkey. Add the rice, salt, parsley, dill, pepper, and water and let it cook for 5-10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. The rice will not be fully cooked. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
At the bottom of a dutch oven, place the small cabbage leaves, enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
Take one large cabbage leaf, cut the core, and place a teaspoon of the filling on it. Roll once covering the filling, then fold the sides and continue to roll till you make a nice oblong shape (see picture below). Place it in the dutch oven and repeat, till done. These will make about 2 rows of cabbage rolls – 46 pieces total. Cover the cabbage rolls with the rest of the small cabbage leaves that you have leftover.
Place the pot on the stove and pour the ½ cup olive oil, ½ tsp salt and 2 ½ cups water and let it simmer for 1 hour till cooked. When slightly cooled, prepare the egg and lemon sauce.
Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce):
Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Place the egg white in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon, about ½ cup. Beat the egg white till frothy. Add the egg yolk and continue beating. Add the lemon juice while still beating and slowly pour the mixture into the cabbage rolls. Swish the pan around so that the egg and lemon sauce will distribute evenly. Serve.
Serving Size 1 serving (55.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6.7g
Saturated Fat 1.2g
Total Carbohydrates 4.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
The raw cabbage
Layering the bottom of the pan with the small cabbage leaves
Assembling the cabbage rolls
Adding the filling
Rolling the cabbage
Folding the cabbage
The cabbage roll in the final folding stage
Layering the pot with the cabbage rolls - tightly together
Layering with the remaining cabbage leaves on top
The cooked cabbage rolls with Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce)
The finished product. Delicious!