Puff Pastry Appetizer with Kale Pesto, Fromage Blanc and Watermelon Radishes

best appetizer

Remember that (vegan) kale pesto recipe from a couple weeks back? I was hosting a special dinner party and decided to spiff it up‑ taking it from hipster-esque to elegant and refined. Paired with crisp puff pastry, creamy fromage blanc and gorgeous watermelon radishes, the pesto easily made the jump to elegant. The result was festive, beautiful and, I gotta say, completely delicious.

If kale isn’t your thing, then use the puff pastry with the fromage blanc as a base for other toppings. You can substiute arugula pestosautéed mushrooms or even sautéed Swiss chard.

appetizer kale pesto

puff pastry appetizer

 Puff Pastry Appetizer with Kale Pesto, Fromage Blanc and Watermelon Radishes

 

Serves 8

 

A note about the kale pesto: A helpful reader (thanks, Tricia!) commented that when she made the pesto it was a tad salty. I thought I would take a minute to reiterate a couple of notes about the ingredients: 1) use unsalted blanched almonds, if you only have salted blanched almonds, such as Marcona almonds- wait to add any salt until you’ve buzzed it together and then give it a taste. 2) Be sure to rinse your capers before adding them to the processor.

 

Ingredients:

One sheet White Toque Butter Puff Pastry cut into eight 4 inch round circles (or use your puff pastry of choice)

8 teaspoons fromage blanc

1 egg

Cracked pepper and sea salt

8 teaspoons of kale pesto

2 watermelon radishes, sliced thin or 6 lollypop radishes of your choice

Sprig of thyme

 

Remove puff pastry from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature. Preheat oven to 375.

 

Once pastry dough is at room temperature, toss some flour on your workspace (no sticky dough, here). Take a 4-inch round cutter and cut out eight circles from the dough. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

 

Score the dough with a pairing knife about a ¼ in from the edge. This helps the puff pastry to create a border for your ingredients — a trick my friend Julie Robles taught me. Drop one teaspoon of fromage blanc into the middle of the circle and spread with an offset spatula.

 

Beat one egg and then brush around the edges of the pastry dough. Crack some fresh pepper on top and sprinkle sea salt. Bake on a silpat or parchment for about 18 minutes or until the edges of your pastry turn a beautiful golden color.

 

Drop one teaspoon of the kale pesto and spread with an offset spatula. Top with two slices of watermelon radish. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve.

puff pastry

Just take a knife and score around the edge.

puff pastry

A quick brush of the egg wash is all you need.

puff pastry

Then layer on the beauty and flavor.

puff pastry

To serve as a passed appetizer, cut each circle into quarters.

For a completely vegan option, omit the puff pastry, fromage blanc and top the watermelon radishes with a dollop of the kale vegan pesto. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and viola, you have a delicious vegan treat.

vegan appetizer

Last but not least…

For the Kids: Cinnamon & Sugar Puff Pastry

With the extra puff pastry, I take a little ½” round cutter and cut out the dough. Do a light egg wash. Mix cinnamon & sugar with a scant pinch of salt and sprinkle over the dough rounds. Place in a 375 degree oven and let bake for about 11 minutes.

puff pastry cinnamon

 

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