Lenten Recipe: Stuffed Cauliflower Leaves (Warak Shol)

April 1, 2024

Nancy Sayegh, IOCC’s Holy Land Team
Serves 4-6


25-30 cauliflower leaves (Warak shol leaves)
1 C long grain rice
2 tomatoes
2 onions
1 C parsley
1/2 C mint
4-6 cloves garlic
Salt (to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 C chickpeas (optional)
1/4 C olive oil
Sliced tomatoes or potatoes (to form a protective layer at the bottom of the pot)
*Quantities can be adjusted to taste.

Cooking liquid

2-4 C vegetable stock or water
¼ C olive oil (optional)
½ C lemon juice (optional)

Soak the cauliflower leaves in boiling water for two minutes. Then drain leaves in a colander/bowl strainer.

Cauliflower leaves are much bigger than grape leaves. Therefore, remove the thick middle stem from each leaf and cut it into three or four pieces, depending on the size of each leaf.

Wash the rice thoroughly with cold water and drain. Then put the rice in a big bowl.

Wash all the fresh ingredients. Finely chop tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs.

Add all the chopped vegetables and herbs to the rice bowl and mix them together. Then add salt, black pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil and combine everything thoroughly.

Now you are ready to roll: stuff and roll the cauliflower leaves. Place a leaf on a cutting board and spoon a small amount of the stuffing mixture into the middle of the leaf. Then carefully fold in the sides and roll it. Don’t roll it too tight because the rice needs room to expand as it cooks.

After rolling the cauliflower leaves, add large slices of tomatoes or potatoes to the bottom of a large heavy pot. Then add all the stuffed leaves on top, arranging them in layers. Add your cooking liquid (water or stock), enough to cover the layers. Then simmer over low heat until tender and juicy.

Serving options: Turn over onto a large platter. Some people like to serve the stuffed leaves with lemon juice on top.