Cabbage was very popular in Ashkenazi communities during all the Jewish fall festivals: sealed in strudel for Rosh Hashanah as we hope to be sealed in the book of life for the coming year; served during Sukkot as a fall harvest food; and, according to culinary historian Gil Marks, served during Simchat Torah because the Hebrew word for cabbage, kruv, sounds like the word for the cherubim on the top of the Ark that held the tablets of the Ten Commandments.
1 pound cabbage (half of a medium head)
½ tablespoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (divided use)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
3 Tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
8 sheets of Phyllo dough________________________________________
1. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise and then thinly slice it into shreds. Toss in a 4 quart bowl with salt. Set aside for 15-30 minutes.
2. Using strong paper towels or a clean cloth towel, squeeze the water out of the cabbage and pat it dry.
3. Heat a 10 inch frying pan over high heat for 20 seconds. Add 4 tablespoons butter to the pan. Melt the butter but do not let it brown.
4. Add the cabbage and sauté over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is soft and slightly browned. Do not burn.
5. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. Place contents in a bowl to cool.
6. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave or in a 1 quart saucepan on the stove. Do not burn. Set aside.
7. Remove 4 sheets of Phyllo dough. Keep the remaining sheets folded and covered by a sheet of plastic wrap, which is then covered by a damp paper towel.
8. Spread out a thin dishtowel, sheet of waxed, or parchment paper that is as long as the dough. Place one sheet of Phyllo on the towel and brush it liberally with some of the melted butter.
9. Place another sheet of dough on top of the first and brush with melted butter. Repeat this with the remaining 2 sheets.
10. Lightly sprinkle half the bread crumbs over the last sheet and then place half of the cabbage in a two-inch thick strip parallel to the long edge of the dough. Leave 1 inch of dough uncovered on each side so the cabbage can be sealed in tightly.