Thursday, July 12, 2012

Swiss chard, currants and pine nut pinwheels

I love puff pastry pinwheels for appetizers - they look really elegant and taste great too. These pinwheels are more of a main course pinwheels if you eat more than two. With a nice fresh lemony green salad it is fit for company as well. I cook the Swiss chard and mix it with some sweet currants, soft and tangy goat cheese and crunchy pine nuts to form the filling for the pin wheels. Then it is just a matter of spreading the mixture on the thawed pastry and rolling it tightly to form nice spirals when you cut them.

Of course the possibilities for stuffing ideas are limitless and if you have puff pastry in your freezer, these can be made any night of the week.

Swiss chard, currants and pine nut pin wheels

Picture 2
1 bunch chard – 4 very large leaves
1 cup chopped red onion2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
½ cup currants soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
2 oz goat cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 sheet of Pepperidge farm frozen puff pastry
Salt to taste

  1. Follow the instructions for defrosting the puff pastry from the box and plan accordingly.
  2. Separate the chard leaves from the stems. Chop the stems into small pieces and the leaves into ribbons. The easiest way is to pile them on top of each other, roll and cut into slices.
  3. Heat a large saute pan with olive oil and cook the chopped onions over medium high heat for three minutes till they are soft and brown at the edges.
  4. Add the chopped stems and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped leaves and cook for 4 more minutes. At this point cover the pan and cook for an additional 8 minutes. Now toss in the drained currants and remove from the heat. The mixture should be dry.
  6. Add salt to taste - I didn't add any since the goat cheese is salty and tangy.
  7. Lightly flour a board and carefully unfold the sheet of puff pastry. Roll the pastry lightly with a rolling pin until it's 13 inches by 13 inches. 
  8. Spread the sheet of puff pastry with the chard mixture and sprinkle the pine nuts evenly. Then sprinkle the parmesan and the goat cheese. 
  9. Working from one side,  fold the pastry into a roll. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes. This will help the cheese to chill and will make the roll easier to cut.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  11. Cut the prepared roll of puff pastry in 1/2 inch thick slices as in picture 2 and place them face up 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with silicon or parchment paper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes about 16 

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