This hearty and satisfying stuffed cabbage is sure to impress vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Layers of mushrooms, brown rice, marinara sauce and cabbage combine in a large-format version of cabbage rolls, without the need to fill and roll individual leaves. At the table, it slices up perfectly into a main dish showstopper.
Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Rub the inside of a 3-quart round soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes to soften (they will continue to cook in the oven). Gently nudge them into the water with a large spoon if they float to the top during cooking. Drain and set aside.
Pulse the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the celery, carrot and red onion and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil with the vegetable mixture, thyme, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Reserve the skillet.
Pulse the cremini and shiitake mushrooms in batches in the food processor until finely chopped. Heat the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil with half of the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and the liquid has released but has not completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the cooked vegetable mixture. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, remaining mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the cooked vegetable mixture and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the brown rice, parsley and eggs to the vegetable mixture, and stir to combine well.
Layer enough of the cabbage leaves to cover the bottom and up the sides of the souffle dish in a single layer, overlapping as needed to fill any visible gaps. Use the larger leaves, as the veins are more pronounced; the bottom will be the presentation side after it is cooked and flipped over.
Gently spread about 1 2/3 cups of the mushroom mixture in the bottom of the dish in an even layer on top of the cabbage leaves. Evenly spread 5 tablespoons of marinara sauce over the mushroom mixture. Cover with a layer of cabbage leaves. Repeat with another 2 layers of mushroom mixture, marinara sauce and cabbage leaves, until all of the mushroom mixture is used. Reserve the remaining marinara sauce for serving. Tuck the final layer of cabbage neatly into the sides, gently pressing down all around to compact it.
Tightly cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the cabbage is tender and the rice is cooked through, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven, but do not remove the foil. Allow to cool and set for at least 1 hour.
Remove the foil and gently invert the stuffed cabbage onto a serving platter. Serve with the reserved warmed marinara sauce.
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