Some of the heads of cabbage in the garden are too big to use all at once. We cut a head of the white winter cabbage today, I was messing around with it when I brought into the kitchen, It was bigger than my head! Somehow from that Hanna was inspired to make a cabbage bake, Kaalilaatikko. The Finns have lots of laatikkos, not just cabbage but turnip, potato and carrot. All of which are a big part of the Finnish Christmas dinner. In addition there are beetroot, sauerkraut and even liver… Laatikoos are all quite similar, the main ingredient is combined with barley or rice, syrup, cream and topped with bread crumbs and baked in the oven. Thankfully I have not had to endure a liver version but I am very fond of the turnip, carrot and potato versions. So when hanna suggested Cabbage laatikko for dinner I was more than happy to help out with some cabbage chopping…
Our version of Kaalilaatikko is not loyal to the traditional version which includes minced meat and cream, we substituted green lentils seasoned with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar for meat and soya milk for cream. And on the top we used crushed Finn Crisp for bread crumbs, a rye based crisp bread, like a very thin Ryvita. They are available in shops in Ireland.
- 9 cups of finely chopped white winter cabbage
- 1 cup of green lentils
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup of brown basmati rice
- 1 cup of soya milk
- 4 Finn Crisps (2 Ryvita)
- Oil for frying
- Teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of golden syrup
- 1 tbsp of dark treacle
- Soak Lentils for a few hours in plenty of water, then sieve and rinse.
- Cover lentils with water with some salt, boil hard for ten minutes and then reduce heat to simmer until the water has boiled off and the lentils are soft.
- Add vinegar and one spoon of soy sauce to the lentils.
- Par boil the rice for 10 minutes.
- In a separate sauce pan sauté the onion until soft then add the cabbage and stir fry for a few minute until it starts to become tender.
- Add salt and thyme.
- Add the rice and lentils to the cabbage.
- Mix the treacle and golden syrup together and then add to the cabbage, stir well.
- Transfer to a buttered oven dish with lid.
- Pour in the soya milk and stock (we used beef stock).
- Sprinkle with crushed Finn Crisps and add a few small knobs of butter.
- Cover with lid.
- bake in oven at 175 degress Celcius for 60 minutes.
- then remove the lid and bake for a further 15 minutes until the top had turned golden brown.
- Serve with lingon berry jam. We also had Hawthorn and Apple jam. You could use cranberry instead.