A kale roll is just my spin on the traditional cabbage roll and is a dish consisting of cooked stuffed kale leaves wrapped around a filling. The kale can be stuffed with any number of ingredients depending who and where in the world they are being made.
In Europe, the filling is traditionally based around meat, often beef, and is seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. Grains such as rice and vegetables are often included. The leaves are stuffed with the filling which are then baked, simmered or steamed in a covered pot and generally eaten warm with a sauce.
The sauce also varies widely by cuisine. In Eastern Europe, tomato-based sauces are typical.
Stuffed Kale Rolls
- 7 oz kale , bunch of kale cleaned with thick vein portion removed (about 7 oz)
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 large onion minced
- 1 Tbsp garlic , minced
- 28 oz tomato sauce , can
- 2 cups rice , raw, not quick cook
- 28 oz petite diced tomatoes , can
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Dip each kale leave into the water for a few seconds until it becomes tender enough to roll. It will turn a nice bright shade of green which I used as my indicator. Quickly remove from the water and drain.
- Saute onion and garlic in a large skillet until the onions are opaque, about 3 - 5 minutes. allow to cool until it is able to be handled. Then add meat, salt and pepper to taste, and rice and mix until combined being careful not to overwork the meat blend so it doesn't get too dense and will stay tender during cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Next, add a bit of sauce, just enough to cover the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan as you will need the rest to cover the rolls when you are finished.
- Now take 1 leaf, bottom (vein) side up, and place about 1/4 cup of meat into the bottom 3/4 of the leaf and roll it up tucking in the sides to secure the meat similar to rolling a burrito. If the leaves are too small to tuck in the edges, as was the case with mine, no bother, I left them open and it turned out equally as fine with half the work.
- Repeat until all the meat and leaves have been used. If you have extras of either, I tuck the meat in between the rows and/or layer the extra leaves on top of the other cabbage rolls and then top with the tomato sauce and petite diced tomatoes.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 90 minutes or until a thermometer stuck into the center of the largest roll reaches 160°F.