Kale & Wild Mushroom Roulade

Pottery courtesy of Emerson Burch

I discovered this recipe nearly 15 years ago, in a charity cookbook from Leeds, England that helped to fund improvements to a soup kitchen.  The book is called More Than A Meal: A Cookbook In Support Of The Homeless.  Many of the recipes are from famous chefs, celebrities and politicians.  Some were humorous, like Rowan Atkinson's Baked Beans on Toast, and John Cleese's recipe for cornflakes: "Buy a packet of cornflakes.  Open the cardboard box...pour some of the contents in a bowl...etc." But this one from Janet Gibson at St. George's Church, was not only beautiful, it is delicious.  Her recipe called for spinach, but as we have loads of greens this time of year, I thought I would try an adaptation.  The texture is not as soft with kale as it is with spinach, but the kale provides a lot of structure and therefore is easier to roll.  Either way, it is a tasty and beautiful way to eat your greens.

Ingredients: 1 lb kale, or mixed broad leafy greens 4-5 eggs, separated 1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar 2 Tbs butter, melted 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese Sea salt and pepper 6 oz locally grown shiitake mushrooms, or a mixture of wild mushrooms, sliced 10-12 oz fresh goat cheese (can substitute sour cream and reduce the vegetable broth to 1/4 cup) 1/2 cup vegetable broth Canola oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a 12 x 18 jelly roll pan with greased parchment paper, then set aside. Wash and remove stems from the greens.  Blanch in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute, or until they are wilted and bright green.  Remove from the water and drain or squeeze any excess water from the greens.  Chop very finely.  In a large bowl, mix together the chopped greens, egg yolks, vinegar, melted butter, parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper.  Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture of greens until the mixture is evenly combined.  Pour the mixture into the lined jelly roll pan.  With a second piece of parchment paper, press the greens into the pan until you have an even layer and there are no holes or gaps.  Remove the top piece of parchment and place in the oven.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the egg has set and the greens feel slightly spongy to the touch.

While the greens are baking, saute the sliced mushrooms in a pan with a little oil. When they begin to brown, add the goat cheese, broth, and garlic.  Stir over medium heat until combined well and warmed through. Set aside.  When the greens are finished baking, remove from the oven and place a clean cotton tea-towel over the greens.  Then place a large cutting board or a second jelly roll pan of the same size on top.  Holding the two firmly together, turn upside down to turn the greens out.  Remove the hot jelly roll pan, then gently remove the parchment paper from the greens.  If it sticks in any areas, use a sharp knife to separate the parchment without tearing a hole in the greens.  While the greens are still hot and steamy, use the tea towel (which is now underneath the greens) to gently roll the sponge (rolling the towel along with the greens).  This will allow the sponge to create some memory, and helps to prevent cracking.  Let rest for a few minutes.  Gently unroll and spread the mushroom mixture onto half of the greens, starting with the centermost side.  Roll again, adding more filling if necessary.
When it is a log shape, slice into pinwheels and serve immediately.  If it has cooled, then gently wrap the roll in foil before slicing and return to the oven to warm through.