Cypriot Lentil and Rice Stuffed Kale and Red Onions
Welcome to November and hello to our field lacinato (aka dinosaur kale). We here at the farm are looking forward to all the delicious Ontario Winter harvest and all our farmers are working hard in the fields to bring so much goodness to your family tables. This recipe features our dinosaur kale with a Cypriot comfort food twist. I have taken the traditional Koubepia, ( beef and rice stuffed grape leaves) and substituted kale and lentils for a delicious vegetarian comfort food.
Growing up, my mum always used clay pots for cooking as it not only cooks food tender and juicy but a natural way to cook. This recipe is farm family approved and perfect for winter comfort food.
3 cup green lentils, cooked
1½ cup Italian style rice, uncooked
1 large cooking onion, finely diced
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp. dried mint
3 cup can crushed tomatoes
Juice of 2 lemons
3 cup vegetable stock
¼ cup, extra virgin olive oil + 2 tbsp.
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 bunches dinosaur kale, stem and hard parts removed
1 medium red onion, carefully pulled apart in layers (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
To make mixture: In a medium size sauce pan, heat 2tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat, sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes until translucent and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add lentils, rice, cooked onion, parsley, mint, tomatoes, ½ of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
To roll kale: Place one kale leaf (shiny side down) on a flat surface and add 1 heaping tbsp. of the filling at the bottom end where the stem is. Be careful not to overfill the kale leaf, as the rice will expand during cooking. Fold the two sides in towards the center and then fold the lower section of the leaf over the filling. Roll them up tightly to ensure they do not open when cooking. Place the stuffed kale leaf with the fold side down on the bottom of an oven proof clay pot. Repeat with remaining kale leaves and filling and fill the bottom of your pan. Be careful not to leave any gaps between the rolled kale leaves to prevent them from cracking open when cooking. “For any leftover filling, I love to stuff an onion and place it in the centre of the pot.”
Pour the stock, remaining lemon juice and drizzle the remaining olive oil, lightly season with salt and pepper.
Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil 45-50 minutes until the Kale rolls have absorbed their liquid.
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 mins before serving.
SERVINGS 6-8 | PREP & COOK TIME 1.5 hours