Sweet Potato, Spinach + Feta Puffs

These little veggie puffs were devised for a recent picnic and made a nice change from the usual sandwiches and sausage rolls. Although modelled on a samosa I chose to use puff pastry as I knew they would be served cold and, in my experience, filo doesn’t hold up as well and can go a bit soggy if not served fresh.

These can also be made ahead and frozen and are great to have on hand for when you don’t have time to prep or people turn up at your door wanting nibbles. Freeze them at stage 2 of the picture below - when they’ve been filled and sealed but not egg washed. Put them in the freezer flat on a lined tray then once they’re frozen pop them into a sealed bag. When you’re ready to cook them simply brush with egg yolk, sprinkle with sesame seeds and pop in the oven at 180ºC for 30-35 minutes or until golden and the filling is piping hot.

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Sweet Potato, Spinach + Feta Puffs

Ingredients;

1 Medium sweet potato (about 275g) peeled and cut into 1cm pieces 2 tbsp Olive oil Salt + Pepper 1 Small red onion, finely chopped 1 Garlic clove, crushed 1 Small red chilli, finely chopped - seeds removed if you don’t like it too spicy 1 tbsp Curry powder 80g Fresh spinach 25g Feta cheese 1 Sheet ready rolled puff pastry 1 Egg yolk 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Makes 12

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Spread the sweet potato out onto a large baking tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and give it a shake around. Season with salt and pepper then roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft and just starting to colour at the edges.

  2. Whilst the sweet potato is cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat then add the chopped onion. Turn the heat down a little and cook the onions slowly for 5-8 minutes until softened and starting to go golden. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a few minutes more, stirring regularly so the garlic doesn’t stick to the pan and burn. Stir in the curry powder and 3 tbsp water.

  3. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the roasted sweet potato and stir together, mashing the potato into the spinach mix with the back of the spoon. Add the crumbled feta and stir in. Give it a taste and season as needed. Leave to cool completely.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Unroll the puff pastry, keeping it on the paper it comes on. With the short side towards you, cut into 3 equal strips. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling onto the bottom of the first strip of pastry, brush with egg yolk and fold over the pastry to create a triangle. Trim the pastry to create the parcel and use a fork to seal the edges, as in the picture above. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper and repeat with the rest of the pastry.

  5. Brush the parcels with the remaining egg yolk and sprinkle over the sesame seeds (if using). Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden. Serve hot or cold.

Swiss Chard, Prosciutto + Gruyere Tart

This is a lovely little tart recipe that’s perfect for a summer lunch or even a picnic. It’s very customisable, just swap in whatever seasonal veg you like. If you can get your hands on rainbow chard it’s great for adding extra colour to the tart.

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Swiss Chard, Prosciutto +Gruyere Tart

Ingredients;

Pastry; 190g Plain flour Pinch of salt 120g Unsalted butter, chilled and diced 1-2 tbsp Cold water

Filling; 1 Small bunch of Swiss chard 2 tbsp Olive oil 1 Medium red onion, finely chopped 4 Slices of prosciutto 3 Medium eggs, beaten 150ml Semi skimmed milk Salt + Pepper 80g Gruyere, grated

Method;

  1. Begin by making the pastry; sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the water, a little at a time, until it comes together into a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 mins.

  2. Roll out the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until large enough to line a 23cm loose bottom tart tin. Gently lift into the tin, press the pastry into the edges then trim off any excess by rolling the rolling pin over the top edge of the tin. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork then refrigerate for a further 30 mins.

  3. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Line the pastry case with foil and fill with baking beans, pushing them against the sides. Bake for 10 mins, then remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 20 mins. Remove the tart case from the oven then turn it up to 180ºC.

  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook gently over a low heat until the onion is soft and golden. Trim the stalks from the chard and chop them finely, add them to the pan along with the leaves and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

  5. Return the pan to the heat and fry the prosciutto until crispy.

  6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together along with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

  7. Spread the onion and chard mixture over the base of the pastry case and sprinkle over half of the gruyere. Carefully pour in the egg mixture and top with the crispy prosciutto and remaining cheese.

  8. Bake for 30-35 mins until the top starts to brown and the filling has set. Serve hot or cold.

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