Lacinato kale, also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale, is the easiest variety to stuff because of its long, pliable, flat leaves.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 large lacinato kale leaves (about 1 large bunch)
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
How to Make It
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and thyme; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until tomatoes are very tender. Remove pan from heat. Add salt; coarsely mash with a potato masher.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add half of kale. Cook 1 minute. Remove kale from pan with a slotted spoon; plunge into ice water. Repeat procedure with remaining kale. Drain and pat dry. Remove center rib from each kale leaf, leaving the leaf whole and uncut at leafy end.
Rinse and drain quinoa. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add quinoa; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons walnuts.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Spread about 3/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Working with 1 kale leaf at a time, place about 1/4 cup quinoa mixture in center of leaf. Fold in edges of leaf; roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining kale leaves and quinoa mixture to form 12 rolls. Place rolls, seam sides down, in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over rolls. Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining walnuts and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
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This recipes was wonderful. If the Kale is too narrow, just overlap a few Kale Leaves to make a wide enough leaf to roll. Using this method gave me 8 nice sized rolls. I made the quinoa in advance and I just put the kale rolls in the pan I used to make the sauce, topped with cheese and nuts, covered and let simmer for 5 minutes and served. This method took me 40 minutes to prepare and serve. My husband likes spicey food, so I put a few drops of sriracha sauce in each roll. It is Delicious!
This recipe definitely took 2 hours to prepare, and I spread it over two nights. The first night I made the quinoa and tomato sauce, then made the kale and baked it the second night. The lacinato kale I found had narrow leaves, there was no way it would have rolled up into little purses like the picture. So I layered it like a lasagna in the pan. It worked okay, but didn't cut well at all with the "strips" of kale. After much frustration, I found that kitchen shears worked way better than a knife. At least I knew we were getting our fiber! I was surprised that the flavors were really good considering the simple list of ingredients (though I wish there was more goat cheese!), and my husband really liked it. But the amount of work was not worth it, so just two stars.