Sunday, 3 March 2013

Broccoli with a puff

I love fast lunches and dinners and the puff pastry pie is one of my favourites. I try to make it not too often because the puff pastry has quite some calories. I buy it fresh but it's already made, so I cannot be 100 per cent sure of what's in there. This is a vegetarian (not vegan) recipe that I vary with all kinds of vegetables, according to what I find in my fridge. A variant is a mix of broccoli and cauliflower and made it once with savoy cabbage and even with carrots and zucchini. It is greta because you can use up your leftover cheeses. Here is what I did for this recipe:

You need:
1 sheet of fresh puff pastry (I bought the round pie shaped version, but you can also get the square one)
750 g (8 cups) broccoli (you can use less but I like to use lots of vegetables and little cheese)
50 g (1/4 cup) cream cheese (again, I use just a little, the more you use the better is tastes, but the more calories it has.)
1 small egg
75 g leftover cheese (I used Emmental cheese)
100 g (1 cup) feta cheese
coarse sea salt, regular salt, pepper and nutmeg for seasoning

Step one:  Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit. Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a fork, lightly poke some little holes into the dough. Bake roughly for 10 minutes just so that the puff pastry has a golden colour. Remember, it will go in the oven a second time, so at this point it needs to be lightly golden, not brown.

Step two: Heat a pot of water, once the water is boiling, add some coarse sea salt, not too much though, the feta cheese you will add later is quite salty on its own. Cook the washed and cut up broccoli for not more than one and a half to two minutes. Strain and let all the water evaporate really well. No worries, the broccoli can get cool, you will heat it again later. 

Step three: In a bowl blend cream cheese, egg and left over cheese with a fork until it's smooth. Add little salt, some pepper and grate some nutmeg. 

Step four: Place broccoli on the puff pastry. Crumble feta over the pie. Carefully pour your egg and cheese mix over the broccoli. Do not worry if it does not cover all of the broccoli, this is a light version that still has a lot of taste - and calories, so do not drain the broccoli in egg and cheese! Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is lightly coloured.

Tip: You can eat the puff pastry pie right away or you can take it to work, heat it the next day in the microwave oven or eat it cold. 

For non-veggies: Fry some bacon bits in the pan and sprinkle them on the pie before you place it in the oven. In this case, use less salt.

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