Italian Egg Rolls

August 28, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

I know but I did it anyway. I will break any rule in order to get vegetables into my four year old. I will put ketchup on cucumbers (he is his father's child), peanut butter on squash and chocolate chips in celery. I revel in my wickedness! I scoff at convention! After much experimentation, I have found that if I put something into an egg roll it gets eaten. Doesn't matter what it is. Even the dreaded spinach. So down come the culinary walls of decency and common sense.

I was suspicious about this one at first, but as my husband hovered over the plate, snatching them up and tossing them from one hand to the other until they had cooled enough to only take the top two layers of skin off his tongue he assured me this one was a keeper. So I am baring my insanity and quiet desperation to the kind. But try them while you are laughing because they really are quite tasty. This time I used both spinach and some kale I had that was beginning to look a little sad in my crisper but really any greens will do. And never doubt the lengths a parent will go to get their children to eat their veggies!

PS: This is one of those, 'make-it-how-you-like-it' recipes. Don't like mushrooms, leave them out. I will know you are a communist though, because only communists don't like mushrooms. Want a pure spinach roll - omit the kale. Love ricotta - double it with no drama. Feel like jazzing it up a little - add pecorino! —Niknud

What You'll Need
  • 3 strips good thick cut bacon
  • 10-12 crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 generous teaspoons fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and sliced into 1" strips
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15 oz container ricotta (whole milk for the love of all that is holy)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • canola or other neutral oil for frying
  1. Put the bacon in a decent sized cold frying pan and cook over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is well done. Remove the bacon, blot off excess fat and dice.
  2. Put the onions and mushrooms and thyme in the delicious bacon fat and season with both peppers. When the onions and mushrooms are almost done, add salt to taste. Remove the mixture and add it to the bacon. Fight the urge to put the blend on toast and eat immediately.
  3. Add a little bit of water to the pan (no need to get all martha stewart and wash the pan or anything) and when it is hot, add the spinach and cover. Steam the spinach until it is done - about 3 minutes or so. Drain.
  4. While the spinach is cooling return the same pan to the stove and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add the strips of kale and stir to coat. Then add the cup of water and cover, steaming until the kale is limp and well done - about 5-7 minutes. You definitely want the kale on the well-done side as it has a little tougher texture than the spinach. You don't want it beaten into submission but well and truly cowed. Drain.
  5. After the greens have been cooled, squeeze as much water as possible out of the leaves and chop up into small pieces. Add to the bacon-veggie mixture, along with the ricotta and pine nuts, stir to combine and adjust seasoning if required. Fight the urge to continue to ' taste and adjust seasoning' until you have only enough left for two egg rolls.
  6. In a clean pan deep enough to contain the egg rolls, heat about a half inch or so (I go on the scant side) of canola oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  7. Put an egg roll wrapper down in the shape of a diamond (pointy end toward you). Add about 1/4 cup of the filling in a line across the middle. Fold the bottom corner up, then the side two corners in and roll up, sealing the top point with a bit of water.
  8. Place the egg rolls in the oil seam side down and fry for 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown. Don't crowd the pan. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and enjoy. And if you feel like going crazy, you can dip them in a little warm marinara sauce (it's got tomatoes in it - bonus vegetables!)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • gingerroot
  • fiveandspice
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • boulangere

Recipe by: Niknud

Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!

14 Reviews

lapadia May 29, 2015
This is quite the "mash-up" sorry I missed it the first time around! :)
Niknud May 30, 2015
Still make it regularly! Thanks.
Hummusit September 19, 2011
I don't know about peanut butter on squash or chocolate chips in celery, but peanut butter and celery - YUM!
Niknud September 19, 2011
Ants on a Log! One of my favorites!
gingerroot September 8, 2011
I love these and have a like-minded four year old so look forward to trying these soon. My boy is certain he does not like tomatoes and when asked what about ketchup, he insists it is made from cherries. He will, however, eat anything if it is in a pancake!
Niknud September 8, 2011
Ooo, I'd love to hear some of your pancake ideas! My child seems to think peanut butter, jelly, nutella and sprinkles (all at the same time) is appropriate for breakfast. Oh, and don't forget the maple syrup!
fiveandspice August 31, 2011
Yum! These sounds fantastic!
Niknud September 1, 2011
Thanks fiveandspice, so glad you liked them!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 31, 2011
This is brilliant! I'm going to try this the next time my grandchildren come to visit! And these really look delicious to me too!!
Niknud September 1, 2011
Thanks, ChezSuzanne - good luck feeding the grandkids!
boulangere August 29, 2011
Love it all - getting young ones to eat vegetables under the guise of something so fun! And serious fun for adults. I can so see this as a passed hors d'oeuvre with some seriously hot dipping sauce. I am going to make these soon, even if all for myself.
Niknud August 30, 2011
Thanks boulangere! Let me know how yours turn out - I'm always on the prowl for new filling ideas.
ChefJune August 29, 2011
Love these! And your comment about getting your young'un to eat veggies any which ways really rang a bell.

I used spaghetti as my vehicle to get my ex-s son to eat his veggies back in the day. He loved spaghetti so much, if it was mixed up with spaghetti and sprinkled with cheese he would eat any veggie or fish that he otherwise would shun. He called any combo "Funny Spaghetti," a name that lives on today in our family.
Niknud August 29, 2011
Love the "Funny Spaghetti"! I may shamelessly steal your idea about this. I think all parents have common cause on this one...