Hye Thyme Cafe: Kale-Artichoke Lasagna Rolls

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kale-Artichoke Lasagna Rolls

Kale-Artichoke Lasagna Rolls : Hye Thyme Cafe

One of my cousins got me hooked on her Spinach Lasagna a million years ago, then my sister introduced me to her Spinach Lasagna Rolls, and I loved those too - they are similar recipes, so as long as I was around when one of them was being made, I was a happy camper. Given my love of kale since first trying it a few years ago, I decided to switch things up and make a kale version. Because kale and artichokes go so well together, and I happen to have enough cans of artichokes on hand to survive the zombie apocalypse, I threw in some artichokes too.

This would have made 10-12 rolls, but since I was "playing," I made 5 rolls, then used the remaining noodles and filling to make a sort of small lasagna to freeze for later use. I layered noodles across a small pan so that they were hanging over one side, then repeated from the other side, spread the filling in them middle, then folded the noodles over the top.

12 lasagna noodles                        2 ½ c milk
                                                        2 T cornstarch
1 bunch kale                                    ¾ c grated Parmesan
1 can artichoke hearts
1 lg sweet onion                              1 roma tomato
2 cloves garlic                                 3 oz pancetta
salt                                                  fresh parsley
crushed red pepper flakes

15 oz ricotta
1 lg egg
3 oz cream cheese
black pepper

Boil your lasagna noodles in lightly salted water to al dente, then rinse and drape them over the edges of the pot or a collander, etc. so they aren't stuck together by the time you're ready for them. You could also spread them out on a dish towel. If they do get stuck together, not a big deal, just run them under water until they separate again - don't yank on them or they might break.

One bunch kale, stems removed.

Wash the kale and cut off the thick stems, chopping the leaves into pieces.

Also chop the onion, garlic, and artichoke hearts. Since you're on a roll with the chopping, you might as well keep going and chop some parsley and tomato if you're going to use them later for garnish.

Onions and garlic sauteed with a little salt and cracked red pepper.

In about a tablespoon of canola or olive oil, saute the garlic and onion until the onion starts to soften, then season with salt and some crushed red pepper flakes.

Add the kale in batches.Add the chopped artichokes, then start adding in the kale, a little at a time. It will cook down quickly, but will look like a huge pile at first. If you find the mixture to be dry or starting to stick to your pan, you can add a splash of chicken broth, water, even white wine - there should be enough moisture from the onions and clinging to the kale from when you washed it.

Once you manage to get all of the kale in the pan, turn the heat to low and pop a top on it to let it finish cooking down while you make your sauce and binder for your filling.

Lower heat, cover, and let kale wilt down.

Combine ricotta, cream cheese, and egg, and season with pepper.In a large bowl, lightly beat the one egg and add to it the 15 oz of ricotta, 3T of cream cheese, and season with black pepper. I avoided additional salt here because, the veggies were already salted, and the Parmesan will add salt as well.

Set that aside for the moment and check on your kale. If it has wilted down nicely, you can remove it from the heat. Otherwise, let that keep going while you make your sauce ...

Whisk together milk and starch to boil and thicken, then add parm.Whisk together the milk and cornstarch, bringing it up to a slow boil. Be careful to keep whisking so it doesn't scorch on the bottom. Let it lightly bubble for about a minute to thicken, then whisk in the Parmesan until smooth. Remove from heat.

Slowly add about a half cup of the cheese sauce to the ricotta mixture - you want to add it slowly so it doesn't cook the egg. Once that is incorporated, go ahead and stir in the kale mixture as well.

Add some sauce and the kale to the ricotta mixture.

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray (or lightly butter), and preheat oven to 350.

Lay the lasagna noodles on your work surface in front of you, spread with the kale/cheese mixture and roll into a pinwheel, placing seam-side down in the prepared pan.

Spread kale mixture on noodles and roll into pinwheels.

When you have all of your noodles rolled, cover each with some of the sauce and bake, uncovered, for 20-30" until hot and bubbly. (I reserved additional sauce to spoon over the top later. That's probably fine if you don't plan on eating them all, but unnecessary if you have a large group and expect most of it to get eaten - you can just pour it all over the top before baking. This way, I can re-heat the additional sauce when I need it.)

Coat with sauce and bake until bubbly.
Leftovers formed into a small lasagna.

To serve, plate with a sprinkling of parsley and/or diced tomato and/or crispy pancetta. Had I thought about it beforehand, I might have cooked the pancetta in the big pan and used the grease from that to cook the onions and garlic. Oh well.

By the way, as you can see, I made a very simple side salad of some iceberg lettuce with tomato and cheese - the cheese is REALLY good. I never noticed it before, but it was a tomato/basil cheddar. Very nice!

Garnished with crispy pancetta, parsley, and tomato.

Served with a baguette and simple side salad.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. FYI, I almost deleted your comment thinking it was SPAM - I've been getting bombarded lately with anonymous posts. Then I realized you came up as Unknown rather than Anonymous. I think this is the first time I've seen Unknown. Interesting ... :)

  2. Looks very tasty! I love trying different pasts recipes- as it is a food I can not live without :) Thanks for sharing!

    I wanted to invite you to join in our weekly Meet & Greet Blog Hop! It runs from Friday nights till the end of Monday, come link up if you have some time :)


    1. Thanks, I'll try to remember to check it out tomorrow when I get a chance. :)


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