It’s the time of year, where many of us entertain, and visit friends and family. For those occasions, I enjoy making something different to nibble on at these gatherings.
For an unusual appetizer, try some puff pastry as a base to create some fabulous hors d’oeuvre! The pastry is light, flaky, and melts in your mouth! A few good quality vegetables add color, crunch and nutrition. A little cheese, if you eat it, and some sliced nuts, round out this culinary delight.
The vegan variation is every bit as tasty! Simply use a little olive oil or vegan pesto instead of cheese. I’ve made this with a pesto topped with halved cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and pine nuts. The most important part is to create a “barrier” on top of the puff pastry, so the moisture from the toppings doesn’t soak through. This can be accomplished with cheese, a little oil, or a pesto-like spread!
Give it a try, and watch these bite-size morsels disappear! It really doesn’t get much easier than this, and everyone will think that you slaved away in the kitchen all day!
Here is what to do:
- 1 box of frozen puff pastry
- 1 cup good quality cheese, grated, (I used Swiss)
- 1 1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (you could use other mushrooms as well)
- a little fresh or dried thyme and oregano
- a handful of sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine the vegetables and herbs.
Read the instructions on the pastry box! Mine required unwrapping and defrosting for about 15 minutes.
Once the puff pastry is ready, gently roll it out on a lightly floured cutting board.
Transfer the pastry carefully to the baking sheet.
Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly across the dough.
Distribute the vegetables across the cheese and season with a grind or two of black pepper.
Top with the sliced almonds.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned and crisp.
Cool for a few minutes.
Cut into bite size pieces and serve!