My blog has gone a bit quiet over the last few days for several reasons. The first is that I bought an iPad, and succumbed to the excitement of cookbook apps and also interactive biology and chemistry textbooks, to the exclusion of all else. The second is that I got really cranky about politics, which meant that I started writing in my politics blog again, and there’s only so much writing I can do in one day. And the third is that… downloading interactive biology and chemistry textbooks (not to mention cookbook apps) kind of used up the last remaining shreds of our broadband for the month. I am currently writing this offline, while waiting for Cate’s Cates to load. It’s been ten minutes so far. God only knows what it will be like when I have to upload pictures.
So you can expect a few more quiet days around here, until we get our broadband connection back.
Anyway, today is Grand Finals Day, and my team is in it. Very exciting stuff, and probably an apt occasion on which to post the delicious vegetarian goodies I made for last Grand Finals Day and inexplicably never found time to post about.
This is more of an idea than a recipe, but it’s a very good idea, and very easy to make, which works for me. I had bought a packet of puff pastry from the Fairfield Farmers’ Market, and was full of plans to make vegan sausage rolls, but then I was seduced by the simplicity (and cuteness) of asparagus and baby carrots in little puff pastry waistcoats (or more probably straitjackets, now that I look at them, but you probably shouldn’t tell your guests that while you are serving these).
And they were delicious, so everyone was happy. Especially me, because Hawthorn won.
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1 packet of puff pastry – I think mine was about 250 g
1-2 tablespoons of basil paste or pesto
1 bunch of asparagus (pick relatively slim asparagus, not the gigantically thick kind)
1 bunch of carrots
salt, pepper, lavender salt, chilli, parmesan – all optional
Now what will you do with it?
Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
If your puff pastry is in a big block, roll it out to about 5 mm thickness. Spread it evenly with your basil paste or pesto.
Snap off the ends of your asparagus, and peel your carrots. If they are thicker than your index finger, halve them lengthwise.
Divide your pastry into rectangles. You want them to be about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of an asparagus spear, and long enough to wrap around one asparagus and two pieces of carrot. I think I got about 12 rectangles out of mine.
Put one asparagus spear and two pieces of carrot on each pastry rectangle (yes, I know, that was probably obvious). The veggies should stick out prettily above and below the pastry.
Sprinkle the veggies with lavender salt, or salt and pepper, and a little chilli or grated parmesan if either of these appeal to you.
Cross the edges of the pastry over the vegetables like the sides of a shawl. Or a straitjacket. If your puff pastry is as crazy as mine, you might want to make sure there is a long crossover, so that the jackets don’t burst open while cooking.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown, and the asparagus and carrots are soft and a bit golden.
Eat, while watching your team win.
Well, your team might not win. That would suck. Alternatively, my team might not win. That would suck even worse…
Honestly, I’m so worried about getting this post to post, that I don’t want to spend time on variations just now. I do note that if you use a vegan pastry and ignore the optional parmesan, this is vegan. Depending on whether you use pesto or a plain basil paste from a tube (as I did), you can make it nut-free. I don’t know if gluten-free puff pastry exists, but if so, you know what to do. The asparagus are not so good if you are low-fructose, and I don’t think this is especially low-GI. Pastry is not often recommended if you want things to have a low glycemic index, let’s put it that way!