Monday, 10 March 2014

Mushroom & Artichoke Slices

I'm a huge fan of artichokes, but I seldom cook with them in any way more sophisticated than popping a few on a pizza or in a salad. On the other hand when I was working in the US I discovered hot artichoke dip and I absolutely loved that, so I've had in the back of my mind for a while that I should be more adventurous.

This is my first such adventure.

Artichokes by themselves can have quite a strong flavour so I wanted something neutral for balance, and decided that mushrooms would give a suitably mellow, earthy note. I went for really simple flavours this time, just a little bit of garlic and black pepper, although I'm sure this would also be wonderful with more herbs or spices. I used tinned artichokes, because I didn't want all the extra oil that tends to accompany the jarred, marinated kind, but you could also use fresh artichoke hearts if you happen to have some on hand.

I usually make my own pastry, but I have to be honest, I'm basically too lazy to make puff pastry when it's so easy to buy a block or even pre-rolled sheets. I tend to get Jus Rol, which I've always found to be really reliable. And, with the obvious exception of the 'All Butter' range, their ready-to-use pastry products are also vegan.

You can make these slices ahead of time and freeze them. They take about 5 minutes longer to cook from frozen. But if you want to do that, just make sure you buy pastry from the refrigerated section of the supermarket rather than frozen, since you don't want to defrost and refreeze it.

Mushroom & Artichoke Slices
Makes 10

1 tin (240g, 8½oz) artichoke hearts
250g (9oz) chestnut mushrooms
1 sweet pointed pepper
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic
1tsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
500g (1lb 1½oz) puff pastry (or 2 x 320g sheets)
  1. Drain and rinse the artichoke hearts.
  2. Dice the mushrooms and artichokes.
  3. Finely chop the pepper and onions, and mince the garlic.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sautee the mushrooms, pepper, onion and garlic until soft. 
  5. Toss through the artichokes, season generously with black pepper, and set aside to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
  7. Roll out the pastry. If you're using pre-rolled sheets, cut each sheet into six squares (you'll have two spares) and briefly roll out each square to a rectangle about 15x20cm (6x8in).
  8. Next, fill the pastries. Spoon the vegetable filling onto one half of the pastry, leaving a finger's width around the edge for sealing. I found I needed about two heaped dessert spoons for each slice. (See the step-by-step images below for guidance.)
  9. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water, then fold over and press the edges firmly together with your fingers.
  10. With a sharp knife, cut a couple of slits in the top.
  11. Bake at 190°C (375°F) for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.


Rachel said...

I don't know many people who would insist on home made puff-pastry - unless they were keen to say they could make it..! And not having the pastry to worry about does mean you can concentrate in interesting fillings.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Looks delicious, and I love that they can be made ahead of time :)

Jennifer said...

That looks really delicious!

Jenne said...

Those look incredibly delicious!

Nicky Omohundro said...

Looks wonderful. The combination of flavors in the filling is quite tasty.

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