June 29, 2016

Baked Garden Rolls in Tomato sauce

June 29, 2016
Last summer was cold and rainy, and there was nothing to harvest in the garden before July. This year the garden is a jungle! It has produced salad, spinach, turnip tops, and baby beets since the end of April and, by now, I've already planted a second round of carrots, white radish, Swiss chard, and bok choy.

(makes about 20 bite size rolls)

20 green leaves (Swiss chard, turnip tops, zucchini leaves, or bok choy leaves etc.)

For the tomato sauce:
1-2 Tbsp ghee
1 tsp peeled and finely grated ginger (juice squeezed out and set aside)
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera seeds
1/4 tsp hing powder
4 peeled and quartered tomatoes (stems removed)
2 tsp freshly ground coriander powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp kala namak powder
1 tsp Himalayan salt
(the ginger juice)
1/2 cup (125 ml) Ricotta cheese (125g)

For the filling:
2-3 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp hing powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp powdered nutmeg
2 cups (500 ml) chopped greens (Swiss chard, spinach, turnip tips, wild vegetables like nettle, and herbs)
1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked quinoa
1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked black lentils
1/2 cup (125 ml) roasted pine nuts (or roasted and chopped cashew nuts)
1/2 cup (125 ml) Ricotta cheese (125g)
1 tsp Himalayan salt

For baking:
Olive oil
(Parmesan like hard cheese - optional)

The method:
Preheat the oven to 440 F (225 C).

Wash the leaves and cut off the stems (chop the stems to be used in the filling). Plunge the leaves into boiling water for a minute to blanch them. Lift out the leaves and spread them on a clean towel to dry.

Heat up the ghee in a small wok or pan until it's hot but not smoking. Roast the ginger until it's light golden and push it aside of the pan before adding the black mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle and pop, add the jeera seeds and hing powder. Toss and turn the spices once with a spatula and drop in the tomatoes. Cook on the medium heat until the tomatoes break and become juicy.

Stir in the coriander powder, cinnamon powder, cayenne powder, kala namak powder and salt. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the ginger juice (set aside earlier) and Ricotta cheese. Pour the sauce onto a baking dish.

While the tomatoes are cooking, melt the butter on the pan over a medium heat. When it's hot, add the hing, black pepper and nutmeg powder. Toss the spices once or twice and add the chopped greens and stems. Sauté the vegetables until they wilt, for a couple of minutes.

Remove the greens from the stove and mix them with the cooked quinoa and lentils, roasted nuts,  Ricotta, and salt.

Spoon a small portion of the filling onto the wider end of a leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf on the top of the filling, and roll them up. Place the rolls into the tomato sauce, seam side down. Arrange the remaining leaves in a similar manner.

Sprinkle the leaves with olive oil and, if you like, with grated parmesan like hard cheese (you may want to reduce the amount of salt when cooking the sauce and the filling, considering that the cheese will add saltiness to the dish).

Bake in the oven until the top of the rolls are brown, for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook one part of quinoa and one part of lentils separately with two parts of water. With 1:2 ratio neither the quinoa or lentils will turn into a porridge.


  1. What a fantastic idea! They look so pretty and delicious. My favorite kind of greens...



    1. I can assure you, it is wonderfull! We made these with kale leaves and added a bit of garlic flowers... everyone, even the children loved them! :D

  2. mental and tummy backflips here. these look beyond delicate and delicious. i will be making these immediately. always so exciting to receive your posts, lakshmi. your photos and recipes fill me with happy~ xoxoxo

  3. oh, i forgot to type how much i have been enjoying playing around with kala namak powder. i have been grinding and wandering this seasoning into many, many dishes since i last wrote to you about it. the way it tweaks all that it touches is nothing less than profound. love love love the push. cheers~

    1. That's great! I love kala namak, on fruits and vegetables alike. Try it on watermelon, yum! It goes also well with dairy products like paneer, yogurt, sour cream and so on. I always have a mixture of kala namak,hing, black pepper, amchoor (mango powder) and roasted jeera at hand, and I sprinkle it on anything and everything.

    2. stop it!!! fruit? watermelon? mind blown, lakshmi. i will do this asap :-)

  4. I hope to have a garden like yours one day *___* And these rolls sound and look amazing! I love the presence of all those spices :D

    1. My garden is very small, but it yields more than we can eat. I grow everything in wooden boxes, except potatoes that are in big sacks. Plant boxes and bags are perfect for urban farming because they take so little space. You can have a box on the balcony, roof or back yard where-ever you live. You'd be surprised how much food you can grow this way for your family!

  5. absolutely divine! looks as delicious as it is beautiful. thank you.

  6. Looks so beautiful, Lakshmi! I haven't had very good luck with my garden this year, other than the tomatoes. The zucchini is flowering but no zucchini. You gave me a wonderful idea for the leaves :)

  7. Missed your posts Lakshmi. So excited to see this.Your garden looks great. And the rolls are a fantastic idea. I will have lot of leaves to use soon. I know what to do with them now. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Looks delicious as always! The rolls are a very inventive take on several old recipes. Yum!

  9. toujours aussi beau et aussi bon, merci.

  10. Are you well, my friend. I miss your writing.

  11. My family LOVED this... honestly, we were all skeptical because we aren't big fans of zucchini. However, the zucchini flavor wasn't overpowering. The filling was perfect!"

  12. Just made these. You are killing me with all those yummy recipes!


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  13. Your dishes look incredibly beautiful and appetizing. I really like to use a lot of greens in the food.

  14. thanks for this recipe of the tomato rolls! I like them! you are a good example!