2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for the baking dishes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small cabbage, about 1 pound, cored and finely shredded (6 to 7 cups)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup ricotta (optional)
Heat the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until cabbage is tender but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in dill, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and pepper. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 4 1-cup ramekins or a 1- or 1-1/2-quart soufflé dish. Place the ramekins or soufflé dish in a baking pan.
Beat eggs in a large bowl and beat in ricotta. Stir in cabbage filling. Add salt to taste and freshly ground pepper. Divide evenly among the ramekins. Fill the baking dish with hot water to at least halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake individual ramekins for 40 to 45 minutes, a larger soufflé or gratin for 50 to 60 minutes, until set and lightly colored. Turn off the oven and prop open the door with a wooden spoon. Leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let sit for another 10 minutes or longer. Serve from the dish, or unmold.
Yield: 4 generous servings
Advance preparation: The cabbage mixture can be made through Step 1 a day or two ahead.