Beet leaf “little pigeons” holubsti

Sturgeon County is well known for it’s Ukrainian heritage – so this recipe is a nice melding of what’s growing right now and our shared cultural past. In Ukrainian, holubtsi literally means “little pigeons” or stuffed cabbage rolls.

Fill them with meat, vegetables or grains like buckwheat. And change up the wrappers too – in the summer, use beet, lettuce, spinach or grape leaves instead of cabbage. Or substitute baby Cousa zucchini in place of the greens!

Image from Equal Opportunity Kitchen, a multi-generational family food blog – their beet leaf holubsti is filled with bread dough and baked in creamy garlic and dill sauce. Mmm – that sounds good too.

Beet leaf holubtsi

  • 2 c cold water
  • 1 c rice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ c onions
  • ½ c butter
  • ¼ c chopped fresh dill
  • pepper to taste
  • fresh young beet leaves
  • ½ c heavy cream

Bring the water, salt and washed rice to a boil. Cover and steam for 10 minutes on low heat.

Fry onions in butter until transparent. Add 1/8 c of the chopped dill to the rice along with the onions and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pick young fresh beet leaves and wilt them in the hot sun or in the oven at 200 degrees for a few minutes. Place a teaspoon of the rice mixture on each beet leaf, fold sides over filling and roll bottom to top. Place in layers in a casserole dish. Pour the cream over the holubsti, cover and bake in the oven at 300 F for 30–45 mins. Sprinkle the remaining 1/8-cup fresh dill over the top and serve hot.