A cheap dish bursting with flavor! Bacon permeates the cabbage stuffing, unless you want a vegetarian option. Then you'll use your favorite mushroom. Ready in about an hour from start to finish.
"A Girl and Her Greens"
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a healthy drizzle for finishing
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
5 ounces smoked bacon (slab or thick slices) cut into 1/4-inch cubes (or shiitake or button mushrooms)
1/4 pound carrots, peeled, topped, tailed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium-large Spanish onion (about 3/4 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2.5 teaspoons plus a generous sprinkle Maldon or another flaky sea salt
2 Savoy cabbage heads (about 1.5 pounds each)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated on a rasp-style grater
freshly ground black pepper
Combine the oil and butter in a wide heavy pot and set it over medium heat. When the butter melts, ad the bacon and carrots first and then the onion on top. Sprinkle on 1.5 teaspoons of the Maldon salt and pop on the lid. Cook, without stirring, until the bacon looks a bit translucent, 5-7 minutes. Have a stir and keep cooking, covered, stirring now and again and lowering the heat if necessary, until the onions are very soft but not colored, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove and discard the outermost leaves of the cabbage. Carefully remove 12 large leaves and set aside. Halve, core, and thinly slice the remaining cabbage until you get 10 cups. Reserve any remaining cabbage for another use.
Add the stock to the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the sliced cabbage and 1 teaspoon of the Maldon salt. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook at a simmer, stirring now and then, until the cabbage is fully tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes. Take the pot off the heat.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat and season it with kosher salt until it tastes nice and salty. Boil the 12 reserved cabbages leaves in two batches until they're soft enough that you can fold them without breaking them, 3-4 minutes per batch. Drain them well, let them cool a bit, and pat them dry.
Generously butter a large, heavy enameled baking dish (large enough to hold the cabbage rolls snugly in a single layer). Lay the boiled leaves on a work surface, concave side up. If they have very thick stems, flip the leaves over and use a knife to shave off a bit of stem, then flip them back over. give the cabbage-bacon mixture a good stir, then use a slotted spoon to divide it evenly among the leaves, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Reserve the liquid for basting. Sprinkle a generous pinch of Parmesan onto each dollop of filling. Roll each leaf over the filling to form a fairly snug cylinder with open ends, then transfer it seam side down to the baking dish.
Turn on the broiler. Pop the baking dish in the oven about 4 inches from the heat source and cook, basting occasionally with some of the reserved cooking liquid, until the cabbage rolls are very lightly browned on top and hot through, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cover the top, then add a generous sprinkle of Maldon salt, a few turns of black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Squeeze on just enough lemon so it all tastes bright, but not acidic. Eat straightaway.
**In lieu of boiling the leaves, you can freeze the entire head(s) of cabbage and thaw before removing the leaves and slicing the remaining cabbage.