I always have leftovers. I suppose it’s what comes from only needing to cook for two people- Myself and Matt. Often we only need half an onion here or half a can of tomatoes there. Of course I don’t mind making extra for a rainy day but then when those rainy days never come you end up with a freezer full of leftovers and no motivation to eat it. Just now we have a serving each of bolognese, sausage casserole and chicken pie. Though I suppose they will get eaten eventually and it is reassuring to know there is always a quick meal to hand.
The chicken pie was the last leftover producing meal I made. It was lovely and creamy and may end up on here sometime soon but it did leave me with some left over puff pastry.
Puff pastry is one of those ingredients that can be turned into a range of food items. It’s a great base for hors d’oeuvres. It makes baked brie that little bit more indulgent and as we’ll see below it can turn a mis-mash of ingredients into a flaky filling snack.
I was sitting in my kitchen. Trying to work out how I could make the puff pastry into something that didn’t require more ingredients. I didn’t have any brie and I wasn’t planning on throwing any parties that required hors d’oeuvres anytime soon, so what was it to be? Checking the cupboards I found some pinenuts (bought to make pesto which I still hadn’t got round to). I then went to the fridge and found a few cherry tomatoes, parmesan, olives and a solitary slice of ham.
I then had a vision of topped puff pastry that could be a bit like pizza. Perfect! I decided to try my hand at making pesto as that would make a pretty good base for the pizzas. It turned out wonderfully and was such a beautiful, vibrant green. Very unlike the stuff you buy in a jar. At first I wasn’t too keen on the flavour. I thought it may have been missing something but couldn’t work out what. However, when I tasted it a few hours later it was perfect, it obviously just needed time for the flavours to develop.
The finished pizzas were delicious and didn’t last very long. They’re extremely moreish. I must admit I did have pesto leftover which perhaps defies the point of making a dish to use up leftovers, however, I felt justified by its versatility and the fact that it lasts a long time in the fridge. We mostly used it on sandwiches over the next few days.
Get creative with your toppings, obviously the ones I used were made up of items I had lying about but there really is no end to the combinations that would work well here. Caramelised onion and goats cheese would be interesting. Tomato and mozzarella would compliment the pesto very well.
I’ve just noticed that Vered over at http://eatnowtalklater.wordpress.com has posted some great puff pastry ideas recently such as these Aubergine and Feta Tarts.
I’d love to hear the toppings you come up with or your ideas on using up left over puff pastry. Drop me a line below.
makes about half a ramekin full
- 25g Basil Leaves
- 1 peeled clove of garlic
- 25g grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp Pinenuts
- About 100ml Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season
Cover and leave in the fridge for an hour or two.
Puff Pesto Pizzas
- Left over puff pastry
- Pesto (or you could substitute leftover tomato pasta/pizza sauce)
- A range of different toppings, go crazy!
- Try and include some cheese to go over the top (I went for cheddar)
- A dash of milk or a beaten egg for brushing the sides of the pastry
Cut your pastry into desired size and shape. I had enough for three squares and seeing as it’s valentines day soon I cut out a heart shaped one too.
Now cut a line halfway through the pastry about a centimetre in from the side. This will help the sides rise without being pulled down by the topping.
Next, spread the pesto over the centre of the pastry and add your chosen toppings.
Pop the pizzas in the oven at 200 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, or until the sides are puffed and golden brown and the cheese has melted nicely.