Cheesy Lentil Broccoli Puff Pastries

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Considering my website is new, and I already have the Berry Puff Pastry recipe and now I have another for lentils, you can generally assume I like puff pastry. You aren’t wrong. It’s such a simple ingredient that can be used for sweet or savory. I love that my son will try anything if its inside a puff pastry. However, I don’t enjoy the process, rolling it out, waiting on defrost, filling, waiting on the refrigerating, etc. All that to explain that these beauties did NOT start out well and I envisioned the end result to be terrible.

It was an overly warm Sunday and I was working through my weekly meal prep. Creating the filling was fine. That went great, tasted great, had the texture I was hoping for. Went through the bother of defrost, rolling out the dough, cutting, filling, sealing, refrigerating, egg wash…allllllll the steps. Cool. This batch didn’t even overfill and fall out the sides. It was a miracle.

Then I put it in the preheated oven. I must of dropped something in the oven and not realized. About half way through cooking, it started to smell like something was burning. I’ve made puff pastry dozens of times so I couldn’t imagine that I had burned them that quickly. So I open the oven and this big waft of black smoke comes out.

Well, shit. So I turn the oven off and call my husband in. He opens the oven and more smoke. Smoke detectors blaring, children yelling and crying, dog freaking the hell out. Awesome. We decide to just leave it closed and I’m out 12/18 puff pastries. At least I assumed.

I waited about 20 minutes and checked on them and they were cooked to perfection! Perfectly golden brown. I assumed they’d have a nasty taste from sitting in the smoke, but nope, they were perfect. There was some massively burned (berry, maybe??) something on the bottom of the oven that seemed like an overkill amount of smoke, but it all ended well! Cleaned the oven, made the last tray and here we are.

Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and the box. It takes longer if you leave the sheets in the box. Once removed let the sheets defrost for about 30-40 minutes.

While waiting, begin working on the lentil broccoli filling. I recommend red lentils for this because they break down more. Green or brown will work but need 18 minutes (vs 15) and will maintain their texture more, which wasn’t what I was going for with these.

Boil 2 cups of water with 2/3 cups of (rinsed) red lentils. Also boil about 1/2 a bag of frozen broccoli florets. You want the broccoli to really fall apart, so they can both be on heat for 15 minutes. Lentils should be brought down to simmering, broccoli at a low boil.

Once the broccoli and lentils are done, dice up the broccoli very fine. I only used the florets and cut off the bottoms because I don’t like the bottoms. As long as you dice them up, you can use them if you prefer.

Put the broccoli in with the cooked lentils. Add 1/2 tbsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Stir well until all combined.

If you are still waiting on the puff pastry, let the lentil mixture just sit and cool a bit. It’ll thicken up which helps with filling. Once the puff pastry is defrosted, MAKE SURE YOUR OVEN IS TOTALLY CLEAN. Haha. Kay, now preheat your oven to 400.

Meanwhile, you can roll out your dough. Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface. It doesn’t need to be overly thin, just spread out the thick spots from the sheets. These will likely be in the center of the 3 sections as the outside edges each section defrost first.

Cut your first sheet into 9 semi-square pieces (3×3). Move the 9 squares to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. You should be able to fit 6 per tray if using a standard sized cookie sheet. Repeat with your second sheet.

Now you can begin filling your puff pastry. Take a small spoonful of the filling and place it in the middle for all 18 pieces. Get a small bowl of water and, using a finger tip, line the corner edges with water. Seal the puff pastry but folding one edge to the other and pressing with your finger tips or you can use a fork. I know puff pastry is often triangular but I find it so much easier (and less messy) to make rectangles. Frankly, they taste just fine as rectangles too so why make more mess?

Place the baking sheets into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. As I mentioned in the Berry Puff Pastry recipe, this doesn’t have to be done if you are in a time crunch or don’t have that sort of fridge space. It just gives more “puff” to the puff pastry.

While waiting on the refrigeration, crack an egg into a small bowl and lightly beat the egg. Remove the baking sheets after 10 minutes and give each pastry an egg wash using a basting brush.

Now they are ready to go in the oven for 17 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let them sit for 10 minutes before serving as the center is very hot. They are best fresh but still good reheated! I microwave a couple for 30-40 second and again just be careful as the center will be hotter than the outside. They make a wonderful appetizer or light lunch!

After all this you may have some left over lentil filling. You can either make a half batch or use the filling for other things. It makes a wonderful sauce over pasta or eaten by itself.

Cheesy Lentil and Broccoli Puff Pastry

Makes 18 puff pastry

Layers of flakey goodness

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (2 sheets) of frozen puff pastry (I use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cups red lentils (rinsed)
  • 6 oz (about 12) frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Instructions:

1. Remove frozen puff pastry from the box to defrost for 30-40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water with 2/3 cups of rinsed red lentils. Once boiling, drop the temperature to low. In a separate pot, boil about 12 broccoli florets. Once boiling, drop the temperature to medium. Both can cook for about 15 minutes.

3. Once the broccoli and lentils are done cooking, finely dice up the broccoli florets. They should be pretty mushy, so everything should break down easily. Place diced broccoli in the lentil pot.

4. Add 1/2 tbsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste and 1/2 cup of cheese. Stir together until combined. The lentil filling can then sit and cool until the pastry is defrosted.

5. Once the pastry is defrosted, sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and begin rolling out the first sheet. It doesn’t need much rolling, just enough to make the sheets flexible throughout.

6. Cut the first sheet into 9 pieces (3×3). Move the 9 squares to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. You should be able to fit 6 per sheet. Repeat step 5 & 6 with your second sheet.

7. Place a small spoonful of lentil filling on each of the 18 squares. Grab a small bowl of water and, using your finger tip, line the corner edge of the puff pastry with a bit of water to help seal.

8. Fold one edge over to the other creating a rectangle. Seal the edges using your finger tips or a fork. Place your baking sheets in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and preheat your oven to 400.

9. After 10 minutes, crack an egg into a small bowl and lightly beat it. Using a basting brush, brush the egg wash on top of each puff pastry rectangle. Place your baking sheets in the oven for 17 minutes until golden brown. Wait about 10 minutes before serving as the centers will be very hot.

Note: If you have three baking sheets, cook two in the first round and leave the third in the fridge. Once the first two are almost done, do an egg wash on the third then put it in the oven for 17 minutes.

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