This is a really great appetizer, with a picture that doesn’t do it justice. But trust me, it’s yummy and it’s easy. A winning combination.
It’s puff pastry topped with leeks that have been simmered in white wine and herbs, then topped with goat’s cheese or crème fraîche. Did you know that some people don’t like goat’s cheese? It’s true, and crème fraîche isn’t a bad substitute for those people.
The recipe is from Yvette van Boven’s cookbook, Home Made. It serves 4-6 people. Mine was smaller, but a lot for two people.
What you need:
- 4 sheets all-butter puff pastry
- 3 leeks
- ¾ cup white wine
- a few thyme sprigs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup aged goat cheese, grated or crumbled, or 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1 egg white, loosely beaten
What you do:
Cut the leeks into three sections, removing the bottom and the dark green leaves. Wash the leeks, then simmer in the white wine, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes. Remove the leeks from the simmering liquid and pat them dry.
While the leeks are simmering, stack the puff pastry and roll it out lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to score a rectangle just a few centimetres inside the edge; this will form a border. Place the leeks next to each other inside the border of the puff pastry.
Top the leeks with goat cheese or crème fraîche, and brush the outer edges with lightly beaten egg white. (I put a little bit of freshly grated parmesan on top of the crème fraîche)
Bake for about 25 minutes at 400°F. The edge will rise and become browned.
Enjoy it while it’s hot!
Here’s a really easy and delicious bread you can make as an appetizer or to pair up with a meal. It uses eggs and baking powder for leavening, so no need to wait for it to rise. I brought a loaf to a party where we slathered our slices with a bit of butter, and the whole loaf went really quickly. With picnic season coming up I can see myself making this one a few times to eat al fresco.
I substituted spinach for the arugula, which was delicious, but I imagine the arugula would give it even more flavour. She uses self-raising flour, but I changed the recipe a little so I could use all-purpose flour. This bread is light enough that you could use some whole wheat flour.
This recipe is from Yvette Van Boven’s book Home Made Summer.
What you need:
- 100 grams washed and dried arugula or spinach
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons sour cream (I used 2% yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 325F and grease a 5-by-9 loaf pan with butter.
- Chop the arugula and set it aside.
- In a bowl whisk the baking powder, salt and pepper into the flour, then add the eggs, sour cream or yogurt, olive oil and mustard. Mix on high for about a minute – this makes a very thick batter, but don’t worry, it will make a nice light loaf.
- Fold in the arugula and pine nuts, then pour the batter into the pan and press it into the corners.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the loaf cool for about 5 minutes, then remove it from the pan.
- Serve it either hot or at room temperature with a bit of butter.