Kale Rolls

So I’m at the farmers’ market the other day.

It’s mid-October and the market is full of apples and squash. There are only three more weeks in the month, which means that this year’s market is drawing to a close. As I was paying for my produce, my favorite farmer stopped me and said,

“You like kale. Do you eat red Russian kale much? Why don’t you take some of this and see what you can do with it.”

And after a couple of tastes and some discussion, I took two bunches. Challenge accepted.

Now some people might think that kale is kale is kale, but there are several different varieties. They all are pretty stout in flavor, but are slightly different. Red Russian kale can really be… strong. What was I going to do with this gift? I knew that whatever I put with this kale had to have an equally robust flavor, something to compliment the kale. After a bit of thought and some contemplation of the beautiful leaves, I thought,

“Those leaves are huge – I’ll make kale rolls!”

Now to be honest I’ve never eaten let alone heard of a kale roll before, but I have had a cabbage roll or two, and I thought that maybe I could make a slightly different version. I mean, who doesn’t love a cabbage roll – and the kale would just make it all the healthier! In the end, I gotta say, I LOVED this dish! That muscly flavor was a bit subdued but certainly not lost, and all the other flavors provided that compliment I was hoping for.



I was making rice for a couple of other dishes that week as part of my Sunday food prep, so I made some extra for the rolls.

Rice. Check.

All the other ingredients I had in my pantry and/or I literally had just bought at the farmers’ market.

Supplies. Check.

An easy, clean, healthy recipe that screams “comfort food?” Yes, please. Thank you for giving me the challenge, Lee!

Kale Rolls

2 bunches (about 20) leaves red Russian kale, stems removed, blanched until tender

2 c. cooked wild or brown rice (or quinoa)

1 lb. Italian turkey sausage

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 medium sweet bell pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, diced thin

1 carrot, sliced very thin

salt and pepper

fresh parsley

15 oz. diced tomatoes

1/4 c. parmesan cheese 

1 can tomato soup + 1/2 can water, combined

Cook onion, garlic, and sausage in large skillet, breaking up sausage until it is no longer pink. Add pepper, carrot, celery and seasoning. Cook all on med/low until veggies are tender. Add tomatoes, parmesan, and rice. Simmer until all is heated.

Spoon mixture into kale leaves; smaller leaves can be combined. Place into prepared baking dish. Spoon tomato soup/water mixture over rolls. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 min.



So there you have it. Kale rolls with red Russian kale. It’s a very hearty dish that I hope you enjoy! I’d love to hear from you if you do!


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