Stuffed Kale Rolls and Basil Polenta with Chile Tomato Sauce

Frank and I decided to join a CSA this year. We chose the East Williamsburg CSA near us in Brooklyn, and we have been receiving amazing, tasty vegetables every week. Part of the fun of it (for both of us I hope) is the ways in which we have to be creative in menu planning and creating meals. This week we scored 10 huge, beautiful leaves of Lacinato Kale. Having just had a raw kale salad last week (recipe to come, don't worry), and noting how the large leaves reminded me of collards or chard, which I am fond of stuffing, I decided that stuffed kale was making it onto the menu.
For the Kale Rolls, I modified the BBQ Collard Rolls in Veganomicon, substituting kale (obviously), black beans and my own sauce in the filling. We also had some basil-studded polenta left over, so that made the cut as well.

Stuffed Kale Rolls and Basil Polenta with Chile Tomato Sauce

For the sauce:

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 medium Vidalia onion

1 small clove garlic
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp. marjoram
1 dried chipotle chile, torn
2 -3 dried small red chiles

Directions: Place all ingredients in blender, and puree until slightly chunky. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

For the polenta (make ahead):
3 cups water
1 cup polenta
1/3 cup chopped basil
dash salt

Directions: Bring water to a boil in sauce pan. Add in polenta in a slow stream, and stir constantly for 20 minutes, or until spoon is hard to move and polenta pulls away from the pan. Fold in chopped basil. Place polenta in an oiled loaf pan and chill until set, 2 hours. Remove, slice, and cook.

For the kale rolls (adapted from Veganomicon):
10 leaves lacinato kale, plus enough extra kale to make 4 cups chopped
1 can black beans, drained
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
4 cups chopped kale

Directions: Set a large pot filled with water on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, slice mushrooms, and trim large, thick ends off of the kale and discard. Shave the veiny stem in the leaf so that it is tender when cooked. Chop extra kale.

Saute mushrooms with 1 Tbsp olive oil until soft. Add in the kale and cook for a few more minutes. Add in beans and 2 cups of tomato sauce, and cook until the liquid has thickened up nicely.

By this time, your water should be boiling, or close to it. When it boils, place kale leaves in and cook for 5 - 6 minutes, or until bright green. When done, remove each leaf carefully from pot with tongs and place in a colander to cool briefly.

Now to roll! take each leaf and place it on your table/cutting board. Place 2 - 3 tbsp. of filling about 2 inches from the bottom of leaf, and about 1 tbsp of filling closer to the top of leaf. Roll from the bottom up. To serve, set on plate seam side down, creating a closed shape (triangle, square, etc, depending on how many each person is eating). Place extra sauce in the open center, and top with polenta slices.


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