Every now and again, dinner gets boring. That’s when you make a savory pastry.
“Why in the name of all that is chocolate would I make a savory pastry?” you ask. That is a good question. The answer? Just ’cause. Sometimes you need to break the sweetness. Try not to gasp.
This all came about when I was browsing the interwebs, and by interwebs I mean Pinterest.
(For those of you that don’t know: Pinterest is like a virtual pinboard, with many pictures of beautiful things that lead to links that you can keep on separate pages, called “boards”, and later access. I am nearly addicted.)
I looked through my Recipes board for about the 500th time looking for something to make, and eventually stumbled across something I had pinned a while ago: a spinach spiral. It hailed from the blog “A Ojo”, which is written in both English and Spanish. There’s some really great stuff on there, including this spiral. Originally, I had planned to follow the recipe, and use spinach. But I checked the freezer, and, well….let’s just say that the spinach was a bit overdue.
Anyway, I decided I was going to do this differently, because obviously I was not about to turn into Popeye without some spinach. Instead, I just used a few forms of cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. The recipe itself is extremely easy to make and versatile. The original website offers a few ideas, like peppers and tuna or cheese and onions. Personally, I think some sweetened ricotta and pine nuts could work out nicely as a dessert, but I have yet to try that.
It uses frozen puff pastry and cheeses that you probably have at home anyway, like cottage cheese, feta cheese, and any shredded ones. The process itself is ridiculously simple as well. It’s just filling, rolling, and… spiral-ing? You know what I mean.
Then you slather on some egg. This is where I go Picasso. I like to think this is how he got his start.
Savory Cheese Spiral
Adapted from A Ojo: Spinach Spiral
1 frozen puff pastry sheet
200g of cottage cheese (or ricotta)
3 tbsp sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 tbsp feta cheese
1 egg, beaten
Set the puff pastry out to thaw for about 40 minutes.
Mix the cheeses and tomatoes together in a small bowl. Add a generous sprinkle each of garlic powder, dried basil, and ground pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (~350ºF).
Make a lengthwise slice to the pastry sheet in order to divide it into two pieces. Slice each of these two pieces again in the same way, resulting in 4 strips.
Put the mix in each of the strips of pastry, and roll and seal it, forming a little pipe filled with the cheese mixture.
Now take one pipe and roll it around itself into a spiral shape, like a snail’s shell. Roll another pipe around the first and continue until all four are neatly packed around each other, ensuring that they are tight in between. When placing these, leave the seam facing down to help the pipe stay intact.
Brush a generous helping of the beaten egg on top of the spiral.
I highly suggest baking this in an aluminum pan because it tends to burst a bit in the oven. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. Serve warm.