Italian Egg Rolls

August 28, 2011
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

  • Serves 4-6
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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!)

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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!