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Author Notes: Hearty grilled vegetable "Wellington" with creamy goat cheese and pesto. This is a perfect way to use leftover grilled veggies in an interesting way and makes them feel like a brand new meal. —Liza's Kitchen NYC
Pesto and Puff Pastry
- 1 1/2 cups Fresh Basil
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts (optional)
- 4 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
- 1 teaspoon Table Salt
- 3 1/2 cups Flour (unbleached regular)
- 1 cup Cold Tap Water
- First, begin making your puff pastry dough, as this is the most time consuming part of the recipe. If you would like to skip this step, store bought works well also.
- Soften butter by leaving it out of the refrigerator. Let it get soft enough that when you press on it, there is an indentation, but not so soft that it is melting.
- Take 1/2 stick of butter, cut into smaller pieces and place in stand mixer (with dough hook attachment).
- Add 3 cups of the flour, salt, and half of the water to the bowl and mix on low adding the rest of the water until a dough is just formed. You may not need all of the water, depending on the altitude and humidity where you live.
- Take the dough out of the mixer bowl and place on a clean silpat on a tray (you can also use wax paper or parchment dusted with flour) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is in the fridge, make your pesto.
- In a food processor, add basil, cheese, and pine nuts (optional). Pulse until basil is chopped. Slowly add oil until the pesto is a consistency that you like. Some people like it smooth, other like a more chunky pesto.
- Place pesto in a container and refrigerate until needed later.
- Now, make the butter layer for the puff pastry dough. Take one pound butter and 3 TB flour and mix until smooth. There shouldn't be any lumps.
- After the 30 minutes is up, take the puff pastry dough out of the refrigerator and place on a flour dusted surface.
- Roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Spread the butter mixture over 2/3 of the dough, leaving 1/3 without any butter. Leave a 1/2 inch boarder around the outside of the dough.
- Fold the dough with out any butter over the first third that does have butter. Then fold over the last third over the middle. Press around the outsides to "seal" the butter in. Place the dough back in the refrigerator until the butter has hardened slightly. Don't let it get too hard.
- During this time, you can begin the vegetables (below)
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out (being careful not to squeeze the butter out) to about 12x18 inch rectangle.
- Then fold the dough in thirds again, rolling it to about 1/2 inch thick. Place back the refrigerator. These last two steps should be repeated about 6 times. These are called "turns". You can mark your dough with a knife to keep track of how many times you have done the process. After this, your puff pastry is complete.
- 2 Red Bell Peppers (Holland)
- 2 Zuchinni
- 2 Yellow Squash
- 2 Japanese Eggplant
- 1 bunch Asparagus (small)
- 2 Portabella Mushrooms
- 11 ounces Goat Cheese (low moisture variety)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/8 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 pinch Salt
- 2 pinches Fresh Black Pepper
- First, wash all vegetables and dry them well.
- Use a garlic press to mash garlic and add it to the olive oil in a small bowl, along with a pinch of salt and a couple turns of fresh black pepper.
- Slice all vegetables into 1/4 inch slices using a mandolin if you have one. For "long" vegetables, it is better to cut lengthwise. For asparagus, remove the bottom end as usual and keep whole.
- As you are slicing, heat up your grill. If you are using an indoor electric grill, turn it up to "Sear" or 450 degrees. If you are using a cast iron grill pan, heat to the point that if you throw some water on it, it sizzles and evaporates right away.
- Brush vegetables with a pastry brush (or grilling brush, if you have one) lightly with olive oil and garlic mixture on one side, placing that side on the grill. If you have an electric grill, brush the other side of the vegetables and close it.
- Cook all vegetables until tender, but not mushy, and set aside to cool.
- When the vegetables are reasonably cool, begin to roll out your puff pastry dough on a lightly flour dusted surface. Remember to work quickly as pastry dough gets sticky and messy very quickly. You will only need about half of the prepared dough. The rest can be wrapped and placed in the freezer for another project (such as pastries, croissants, palmiers, etc.)
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Roll out the dough into a long rectangle, about 18x8 inches on a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment very lightly with cooking spray.
- Spread the goat cheese thinly across the entire length of the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch boarder around the outside.
- Then, spread a thin layer of pesto on top of the goat cheese.
- Begin layering your vegetables on top of the goat cheese, layering different vegetables next to each other so that when sliced, the Wellington has all different vegetables in each piece (you never get a mouthful of just peppers, for example).
- Depending on the size of the vegetables cooked, you may have extra, simply set them aside for leftovers (unless of course these vegetables were leftovers to begin with). Keep adding vegetables until the layer is about 3 inches thick. Be careful not to add too much liquid with the vegetables as they will make the pastry soggy.
- Crack your egg and add the water, mixing to make an egg wash.
- Fold up the dough to the middle of the top, creating a seam down the middle of the "log". Use some egg wash to seal. Then roll the log over, making the seam on the bottom of the roll touching the pan. Fold under the ends of the roll, again pushing the seams under to the bottom.
- At this point, if you wish, the entire log can be wrapped in wax paper and plastic wrap and frozen for a meal in the future. If you do this, remember to defrost the Wellington slightly before putting it in the oven and do so at 375 for 10 minutes, and then raise the temperature to 450 and cook the rest of the way.
- Cook at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the pastry is browned evenly. If your oven cooks unevenly, remember to rotate the pan about half way through.
- Brush the entire log lightly with egg wash, and place in the middle rack of the oven.
- When the Wellington is cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then slice 2 inch pieces, and serve. This can be served with some of the leftover pesto as a sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Grilled Vegetable Dish