|Prep time: 1 1/2 hours||Cooking time: 30 minutes||Total time: 2 hours|
This recipe is well worth the time it takes to prepare
First: Cook your cabbage. You'll need a fresh, large head of green cabbage. Trim the bottom root and cut an X into the center core. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the head of cabbage for about five minutes until soft; remove and drain well. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
To make the filling: throw the vegetables, apple, and sausage into a roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add 1 cup apple juice, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp vinegar, and salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and fennel to taste, and toss well to coat. Roast in the oven till soft- about 40 to 50 minutes. Stir a few times during roasting to distribute the sauce and seasoning. After removing from heat, add the cooked quinoa and raisins. Meanwhile make your sauce. To make the sauce: combine tomatoes, 1/2 cup apple juice or cider, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, onion powder, 1 clove garlic (minced), cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and sea salt (to taste) in a sauce pan and stir. Cook over medium heat until simmering. Cover and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste test before using in the recipe. If you like a bit of spice, add a dash of hot pepper- but please taste test first. To assemble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil four serving dishes or one medium-large baking dish. When the cabbage has cooled enough for you to handle, cut another ½ inch or so off the bottom core if you need to and gently peel off the leaves one at a time; set the leaves aside on a plate or board. Trim any large leaves that may have a thick spine. Smaller leaves can be combined- use two to make one roll if you need to. Lay a cabbage leaf on your work surface and add a spoonful of filling in the center. Fold in the side of the leaf and roll it up; tuck it into the prepared baking dish seam side down. Repeat for the remaining leaves and filling. Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 30 minutes, till heated through and bubbling. You can make this stuffed cabbage ahead of time, if you wish; cover and chill. Add an extra 10 minutes or so to the baking time.