Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stuffed Kale Rolls

One of my favorite things from our CSA this year (besides the snap peas, herb bunches, salad mix, eggplant, cucumbers ... um, and everything else) is kale. Kale is amazingly versatile: if you're rough with it, it can be a great salad addition. Shred it up and it tastes great in stir fry or rice. And it's tough enough to make a great wrap for some kind of delicious stuffing, too.

Inspired by a recipe in From Asparagus to Zucchini, I basically made baked dolmades (stuffed grape leaves, a Greek dish).

They were pretty easy and amazingly filling. I used leftover rice pilaf in my version, straight from the fridge, but I imagine brown rice cooked in veggie stock would be just as delicious.

Stuffed Kale Rolls
1 1/2 c. rice pilaf, cooked 
1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
Lemon balm (or use a few drops of lemon juice)
7 to 9 large kale leaves (any large, tough leaf can be used, such as collard)
White pepper
Olive oil

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the walnuts, mozzarella, and herbs to taste in a food processor until well-mixed. In a separate bowl, combine walnut mixture with rice; mix in cream cheese so that the mixture is slightly sticky. 

For the kale: remove the thickest part of the stem from the center of the leaf at the bottom (about an inch and a half). This leaves the rest of the leaf intact and gives you extra flexibility for wrapping at the bottom. Place 3 tablespoons to 1/4 c. of filling on each leaf (based on its size) at a right angle to the stem, about two inches from the top of the leaf. Curl the top of the leaf over the filling, then fold each side in. Roll up the rest of the leaf, tucking any extra pieces underneath. 

Place the stuffed rolls on the baking sheet; brush them with a layer of olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy.

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