I owe the inspiration for these entirely to Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian. She lives in the environs of gorgeous Lake Tahoe in Northern California, a stone’s throw (albeit a long one) from where I used to live, and up the road (okay, a long-ish one) from where my son lives. A few days ago she posted a story about and a recipe for Blackberry-Cherry Turnovers. Well, her fruit availability is a few weeks ahead of ours, and in correspondence with her about her lovely turnovers (I especially loved that she made them with a handmade flaky pastry rather than commercial puff pastry), she mentioned that really, really fresh fruit makes all the difference. Given that, I started thinking about how I could take them in a savory direction while waiting on local fruits.
I made her pastry exactly as she instructs. The only difference was in the way I rolled it out. I rolled the dough into a square about 16″x16″ so that I could cut it into 4 squares, 4″x4″ each. After I filled them, I simply folded one corner over its opposite, resulting in triangles.
RUSTIC SAVORY TURNOVERS
Makes 4 turnovers
Aside from making the pastry, this was literally a pantry dinner, as I canvassed what I had in the refrigerator to make the filling. Feel free to do the same. Just be sure that nothing in your filling is too wet, and that if it is, you sauté it before adding it to the filling, such as the mushrooms and onions here.
By the way, I could still catch a lingering scent of the turnovers the next morning. It was a lovely way to start the day.
8 mushrooms, stems removed and saved in your stock bag, caps 1/4″ slices
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained, roughly chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped
Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, whisked
- Prepare the pastry according to Susan’s instructions.
- Film the bottom of a skillet with olive oil, and warm the skillet over medium heat. When hot, the oil will shimmer, or ribbon, so watch it. At that point, add the mushrooms along with a pinch of salt. The salt will draw water from the mushrooms and cook them along a bit faster. When you can’t see water boiling in the bottom of the skillet, add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and oregano, and sauté until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer its contents to a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. DO NOT season with salt and pepper until you’ve added the tomatoes and feta. Both are salty, so add salt, if any, only after you’ve added them. Set filling aside to cool a bit while you roll out the pastry.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Flour your work surface as well as the surface of the pastry. How often will you encounter a rolling instruction that actually wants you to roll it into a square shape? Get it as close to 16″x16″ as possible. Use a sharp knife to quarter it into 4 squares that are 4″x4″. Separate them a bit. Brush the edges with the beaten egg.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of each square. Fold one corner of each square over to match its opposite. Use a fork (dip it in some flour if it wants to stick) to press the edges of each triangle together. Gently press down on each one to level the filling a bit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Gently lift each triangle onto it. Use a pastry brush to glaze each one with the beaten egg. Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes, until the turnovers are golden brown. Rotate the baking sheet front-to-back at the half-way point.
- While your turnovers are baking, make a good salad. Sit down to a perfect summer evening’s dinner.
- If you have leftovers, and I hope you will, double-wrap them in plastic and freeze them for a time when you need to pull that rabbit out of its hat. And keep a thought of thanks for Susan.