The next in our veggie party food countdown is a humble pasty, with a little surprise inside, in the form of the vegetable everyone loves to hate, the brussels sprout.
In the words of Nigel Slater, “why are you even thinking of buying a bag of pungent, watery little balls that give you wind?”.
But trust me on this one… finely shredded, and encased in puff pastry with leeks, garlic, white wine, pine nuts, créme fraiche and blue cheese, these are sprouts like you have never tasted them before – Leek, Blue Cheese & Brussels Sprout Mini-Pasties.
- Ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry 1 sheet, which makes 9-10 mini pasties
- Knob of butter
- 1 leek
- 8 brussels sprouts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp white wine if you have some open - its not essential
- 3 tbsp créme fraiche
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 50 g blue cheese any type will do - just check its vegetarian
- Peel and very finely slice the brussels sprouts. Finely slice the leek. Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the leek, garlic and sprouts. Cook gently until all are softened - about 4-5 minutes.
- Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Let it bubble for a minute, then remove from the heat and stir through the créme fraiche.
- Unwrap the puff pastry on a floured surface. Use a circular pastry cutter to cut 9-10 circles, then use a rolling pin on each individual circle to make it slightly thinner. (NB. keep the offcuts!)
- Spoon a heap of the filling in the middle of each round, then top them with a blob of blue cheese and 3 or 4 pine nuts.
- Wet the edges of the pastry with water, then fold over to create a semicircle. Crimp the edges together firmly with a fork, then brush all over with a little milk.
- Bake the pasties in the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
*Don’t waste the pastry offcuts!
Use these to create some quick cheese straws. Roll them out, sprinkle with cheese (any you have to hand – or how about cheese and pesto, or cheese and marmite?), then fold in half to fully encase the cheese. Cut into strips about 1cm wide, then twist and press each end down onto a baking tray.
Bake for 10 minutes or so, until golden brown.
Great served with dips.