Portion/Yield:Serves 6 as starter or serves 4 as a light lunch or main course (with seasonal buttered vegetables or a garden salad)
This recipe is one of those quick and easy recipes that came about by accident. Well, the discovery is a good one and once we started making it we realised the various eating occasions it can cover. Definitely a good discovery.
All credit for this recipe goes to Ross. We change our set lunch menu each week, and a few weeks ago Ross had left planning a vegetarian starter until the morning (he is quite good at leaving things to the last minute, much to my despair!). After discovering he had not ordered special ingredients for his ‘special’, he had to go and ‘forage’ in the fridge for something to use for his dish. He found puff pastry trimmings, a few pears and some boulangère potato leftovers from the main course section, plus some goat’s cheese. He came into the kitchen as smug as a cat that had found the cream and I laughed at him asking what he thought he was going to achieve with his findings. Still smug, he shrugged his shoulders at me, said nothing and set to work. I thought to myself he has got his work cut out, but I soon had to ‘eat my words’ when he pulled this one out of the bag.
The puff pastry, potato, cheese and onion pie smelt absolutely delicious when he pulled it out of the oven. He made one big pie and then cut it into slices and served it with more crumbled goat’s cheese, some crushed roasted walnuts, shavings of fresh pears and dressed salad leaves. It not only makes a perfect starter, but is equally suited as a main course or even as a light lunch.
Ingredients & Method
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150g onions (prepared weight), finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 150g peeled potatoes (prepared weight), finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 400g good quality all-butter puff pastry
- 2 pears
- 300g (rindless) goat’s cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- a large handful of salad leaves dressed in classic/basic vinaigrette, to serve
- 50g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped, to serve
Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onions and garlic and sauté over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent. Add the potatoes and thyme, with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle, about 4mm thickness and the size of two A4 pages joined together. Spread the cooled potato and onion mixture over half of the pastry sheet, leaving a border around the edges. Using a mandolin, finely slice 1 pear (removing the pips but keeping the skin on) and scatter the pear slices over the potato mixture. Crumble 150g of the goat’s cheese over the pears.
Brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg and then fold the other half of the pastry sheet over to form a parcel. Press the edges together to seal. Brush the pastry parcel all over with the remaining egg and then transfer to the prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the pastry is puffed, crisp and golden brown and the base of the pie is cooked through and crisp.
Remove from the oven, cut the pie into portions and place on serving plates. Garnish with the remaining pear that is also finely sliced (pips removed but skin left on), and the dressed salad leaves. Crumble some of the remaining goat’s cheese over each portion, then scatter over the toasted walnuts. Serve.