Monday, October 22, 2012

Vegetable Pinwheels

Sometimes when I am invited to a friend's house for Shabbat dinner, I take it easy and stop off at the store for a babka or a bottle of wine.  But when I have the time, I prefer to make something to bring.  Last Shabbat, I was asked to bring an appetizer.  Another guest was already bringing salad, and I know that one of my hosts does not eat fish, so gefilte was out.  I needed to think up a fun, pareve, non-fish appetizer to bring over, and I came up with a really fun one!

Vegetable Pinwheels.  I love making pinwheels.  Puff pastry is delicious, and easily available pareve in all grocery store freezers.  Also, the presentation of the pinwheels is very appealing.  They look very impressive and you don't have to tell anyone how easy they were to make.   I've used the same concept for dairy appetizers and desserts.  Always a crowd pleaser!

Vegetable Pinwheels
1 box of Puff Pastry (2 sheets)
1-2 Medium Eggplants
2 cups of Broccoli Florets
2-3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
Est. 1 Tablespoon oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take box of Puff Pastry out of the freezer to defrost.
Pre-heat oven to 350.  Slice eggplants very thin (use a mandolin if you have one).  You might also want to first peel the eggplant.  I did not do this, because I love purple color, but it will make a future step easier).  Arrange slices on a baking sheet, spray lightly with Pam and sprinkle with Salt, Pepper and Basil.  Cook in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes.  Take out to cool slightly.  Meanwhile, prepare the broccoli.  Cut broccoli into very small pieces.  Cook broccoli in a pan, stove top with Salt, Pepper and basil to taste.  After cooked, add the tomato paste and a little oil to thin out.  Mix well, and then let cool slightly.

Carefully un-fold the defrosted pastry sheets.  Lay the eggplant over the whole sheet, and then top thinly with the broccoli mixture.  Starting at one end, roll up the dough into a thick log.  With a very sharp knife, cut slices, about 1/2 inch thick.  (This is where it would be easier without the skin on the eggplant.  Even though the eggplant is pre-cooked, the skin is still difficult to cut and your slices will be prettier if you peel the eggplant first.  However, if you do, make sure to watch the eggplant in the oven.  You do not want to over cook the slices.  They will turn into mush if you do.) Place slices on a cookie sheet, allowing room for each pinwheel to expand.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden.