Spiced Cabbage Rice from Thrace
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil preferably Greek, or butter
- 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 3 ½ cups washed thinly shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
- 2 ¾ cups water
- 1 cup long-grain rice preferably brown rice
- ½ cup dark seedless raisins
- ½ cup finely chopped blanched almonds*
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt to taste
1. In a heavy stewing pot, heat the olive oil or butter and sauté onion until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cabbage and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and water and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Add rice, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and rice cooked.
3. Place mixture into a lightly buttered mold and allow to set for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a platter. Or toss gently in serving bowl. Serve warm.
* You get the most flavorful blanched almonds by doing the blanching yourself. Take whole, unroasted almonds and drop them into boiling water for about 45 seconds. Remove, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Remove the skins by squeezing the almonds, one at a time, between your thumb and index finger. The skins should slip right off.