Having totally derailed the eating healthy train the other day by consuming ghastly amounts of Eton Mess, I tried to redeem myself by eating greens again. In my defence, the Eton Mess was not “unnatural,” I mean it was all real food with organic cream, fresh strawberries and low fat meringue cookies. I don’t feel totally guilty…
I’ll keep telling myself that.
Kale is an incredibly healthy green and lucky for me, I actually quite like it. Most of the time we eat it just baked in the oven with some sea salt, like kale crisps. They get devoured very quickly at our house and are made two to three times a month. I like kale crisps but I wanted to use kale in something else other than just crispy leaves. I find a lot of soups and stews that use kale but I am not very fond of the chewiness of kale in that preparation. I decided on a kale and feta pie, like a spanakopita but with kale instead of spinach.
It would have been easier to make the pie, but I figured the children would like the rolls better because they are neat little packages and everyone gets their own and it’s not as messy. They were not too difficult to roll as long as they were moistened with some olive oil. I used a little bit of butter with the olive oil, but not to much so that I defeated the purpose of eating those greens!
Like in my Potato-Cheese Phyllo Pie, I prefer to use a thicker phyllo dough for my pies and rolls. I do not have the patience to deal with the very thin sheets. This thicker dough does not dry out as quickly and you can actually separate the sheets without it tearing and drying out.
Lately, I have even making my phyllo/strudel dough by hand. I experimented with strudel a few months back and found out how easy strudel dough is to make. The tricky part is the rolling out, but with practice, it’s not a challenge.
Even though it doesn’t take much time and energy to make your own dough, I still like to keep ready made phyllo sheets in the freezer. They are so versatile and can be used for desserts and savoury items in a jiffy (just have to remember to defrost them by leaving them in the fridge.)
So, the filling for these phyllo rolls was sautéed kale with green onions and some feta. I added this great condiment I found, an Italian hot garlic and pepper sauce, which added a nice garlicky kick to the kale. You can omit this or add some other hot sauce. Another thing I like in my phyllo pies is potato. To me, the potato adds a creaminess and a softness to the crispy, chewy roll. It also helps keeps the salt in check with the Feta. You can leave the potato out but I think it adds a great dimension to the dish. The box of phyllo dough I buy has about 10/11 sheets. This makes 10 rolls.
KALE, FETA AND POTATO PHYLLO ROLLS
2 big bunches of organic kale (2lbs/1kg), washed and chopped fine
5 whole scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
8oz Feta, crumbled
1 large potato, cubed and boiled
3 garlic cloves,finely chopped
2 tablespoons of hot garlic and pepper sauce or hot sauce (optional)
1 box phyllo pastry sheets, thick or country style (10 sheets)
1/4 cup of each melted butter and olive oil to brush on sheets
Preheat oven to 375 deg F (190 deg C)
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet on medium heat and add the garlic, making sure not to burn,
Add the kale quickly.
Once the kale begins to cook down, add the scallions and let the liquid evaporate.
The mixture needs to be dry so it can be rolled in the pastry.
Once the mixture looks dry, add the garlic pepper sauce if using or hot sauce.
Finish off with a squeeze of lemon.
Once mixture is cool, crumble the Feta into the kale mixture and mix in the potatoes.
Check for salt after adding the Feta otherwise it will be too salty.
Adjust seasonings, salt, pepper, hot sauce and lemon juice to your liking.
Time to roll the sheets:
Take one sheet of phyllo dough, lay on counter, short end towards you (make sure other sheets are covered with damp cloth or napkin)
Brush the entire surface of the pastry with a little melted butter/olive oil
Put two tablespoons of filling on the end nearest you,
Gently, roll the end up, enclosing the filling, make one turn round,
You will need to brush a little more butter/olive oil to allow the pastry to stick and became crispy and layered when baked.
Fold up the sides and continue rolling into a cigar shape.
Place on a baking sheet.
Repeat with the rest of the sheets.
Sprinkle the top with some black nigella seeds.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or till rolls are crispy and golden brown on top.
These came out delicious and were quickly polished off at the house. They are more substantial then just a spring roll and great for lunch, dinner or appetiser. We had them with a green salad for dinner. Two of these rolls makes a filling dinner. So, now I have one more thing to make with kale that I will eat!
How about you guys? Do you all have any weird issues with texture or smell?
I am going to leave you with a picture of the Colorado state flower, the beautiful blue columbine, which I captured on camera at the Golden Gate Canyon State Park on Sunday.