Weekday Vegetarian: Tomato Basil Pinwheels
Photo Credit: Emma Alter
I spent some time experimenting with appetizers because I wanted to serve a few different things for my big dinner party last week. I wanted something that could be served at room temperature and that people could eat in one or two bites. I thought about making my delicious Pistachio and Goat Cheese appetizers, but decided it was too much work for the number of people I was entertaining. I tried making garlic and herb pinwheels from the website A Cup of Mai, but all of my tasters, (my husband and daughter) didn't think the flavour was bold enough. So I kept the idea of the pinwheel, and changed the filling to garlic, tomato and basil and they worked very well.The first time I made these I made the filling and then used it right away. There was a bit too much liquid in it, but they were okay. The second time, when I made them for the party, I made the filling in the morning and allowed the tomatoes to throw off their water and then I drained them and squeezed out the excess liquid. These are terrific little appetizers. They are very simple to make, they are tasty both hot and at room temperature and they are pretty as well. This was a bit of a throw together thing, so you could change the balance of ingredients to your own taste. Just make sure the filling isn't too wet, or your pinwheels will be soggy.
Tomato Basil Pinwheels
1 block frozen puff pasty, defrosted according to directions
1 small bunch basil, finely chopped
6 or 7 cherry or grape tomatoes, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In a small bowl mix the basil, tomatoes, garlic and salt and pepper. Add just enough olive oil to make a thin paste like consistency. You can set it aside for a few minutes if you like, then drain off any extra liquid.
3. Roll out the dough into a rectangle. With the long side toward you, spoon the mixture over the pastry, covering all of it except for about an inch or so along the top. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the pasty up jelly-roll fashion, making it as tight as you can, until you have rolled it into a log.
4. With a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/4 inch rounds. Don't worry if they are a big squishy, when the pasty puffs up in the oven they will fill out. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
5. Allow them to cool for ten minutes or so before serving.
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