Easy fancy. That’s a thing. When something looks way more complicated than it actually is, and happens to be even easier than that. I love being able to share the kind of recipes that fall into this particular category because they’re always the kind I find myself bookmarking to make. And on that, by no means is this my invention, but the idea that it can be applied in so many ways – sweet or savoury – is the chance to put your own stamp on it. Thank goodness there’s a Youtube episode to accompany this recipe though, because the concept might be simple in theory, but explaining the step by step dexterity required would be confusing enough to steer you clear of ever attempting it. Don’t do that! Watch and make (easy) is the go with this…
Makes 1 x 30cm pastry – serves 4 – 6
2 sheets vegan puff pastry
1 large bunch organic spinach or kale, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
extra virgin olive oil, for the pan
handful fresh herbs; parsley, tarragon, marjoram, chopped
50g-80g plant based cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Lay the thawed pastry sheets out on a baking tray, over lapping them by 1cm across the middle and pressing your fingers down along the seam to seal it. Cover with a damp tea towel while you cook the filling.
Wilt the greens over high heat by adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil into a medium sized pan, along with the crushed garlic, stir the chopped spinach and/or kale, until soft but not soggy. Add the fresh herbs for the last minute and remove from heat.
Using a spoon to leave the cooking liquid behind in the pan, take spoonfuls of cooked greens and pile in a 10cm wide line down the middle of the pastry sheets. Top with the crumbled cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Starting on the long side closest to you, cut the 2cm straps from the edge of the greens to the outside of the pastry sheets. Stop cutting straps when you get to approximately 5cm from each corner. Repeat on the opposite side, doing your best to line up the straps with an imaginary line through the filling. Remove the piece of pastry in each of the 4 corners, leaving an envelope-like flap to hold in the filling at each end. Fold the 2 ends of the ‘envelope’ over the greens first, and then with the pastry running lengthways away from you, begin pulling the straps across the filling, from one side, and then the opposite side, overlapping them as you go. Don’t worry if there are gaps between the straps where you can see the filling, that’s all part of the beauty, and ease of cutting, of this pastry.
Run a drizzle of olive oil across the top of the fully wrapped pastry and sprinkle with salt flakes, sesame seeds, or dukkah, like I did, if you have it on hand.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.