Guest Recipe: Jay’s Italian Sausage & Kale Spring Rolls with Pesto Dipping Sauce


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We had a few friends over for dinner this past weekend and so I was busy making cheese cannelloni for the main course and a polenta rosemary cake for dessert. My partner in crime, Jay, put himself in charge of making the appetizer, which I was happy to let him take over. He went out and bought the ingredients he needed and so I had no clue what he was making until I noticed the spring roll wrappers being thawed on the counter. Since we absolutely love spring rolls but we were having an Italian inspired dinner, he decided to make these Italian Sausage & Kale Spring Rolls with a Pesto Dipping Sauce.They stole the show and taste even more amazing than they sound! They are also surprisingly uncomplicated. In fact, it was more difficult getting the recipe out of Jay for this blog post, who is notorious for never writing things down when creating a recipe. Hopefully he remembers to record more often now, so that I can keep posting his delicious recipes!

Italian Sausage & Kale Spring Rolls

  • 2 mild Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. chili flakes
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups loosely packed chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 30 spring roll wrappers (thawed if they were the frozen kind)
  • 3/4 cup shredded or grated carrots

For the cornstarch glue:

  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

In a large frying pan, brown the sausage and ground beef on medium-high, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with the oregano and chili flakes. When cooked through, drain and transfer to a medium bowl to cool.

Add the 2 tsp. of olive oil to the pan and fry the garlic for 1-2 mins. Add the kale to the pan along with 1/4 cup of water and a bit of salt and pepper. Put a lid on the pan and steam for 3-4 mins to soften the kale. Make sure there isn’t excess water in the pan after you steam the kale. If there is some excess water, cook it a bit more without the lid on.

Add the kale and garlic to the cooled sausage and beef. Then, add the Parmesan cheese to the mixture and mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together until smooth. This will be the glue that holds the spring rolls together.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a cutting board or large plate, lay out one spring roll wrapper like a diamond. Dab each corner with a bit of the cornstarch glue. Add 1 Tbsp. of the sausage and kale filling to the middle of the wrapper. Be sure to leave room on each side for folding & rolling. Top the filling with a bit of the shredded carrot.

To fold, first fold in the 2 sides. they should overlap by about a thumb’s width. Then, fold up the bottom and roll it towards the top. Continue with the other 29 rolls.

Lightly brush the spring rolls with olive oil before baking. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Pesto Dipping Sauce (recipe follows).

Pesto Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup pesto (we used a store bought one we like)
  • 1/4 cup water

Mix the pesto with the water. It should be a bit runny, but not too much as you want it to coat the spring rolls when you dip them.

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