Savory Elephant Ears

Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo contributed by Ame Gilbert Yield:  24 elephant ears
Prep Time:  20 minutes Cook Time:  12 minutes

Savory Elephant Ears

Fancy, vegetarian, family-friendly appetizers in under 30 minutes? You bet. These crispy delicious bites will win everyone over, including the cook.

Ingredients

¼ cup pitted kalamata olives

¼ cup crumbled feta

¼ cup cream cheese

1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator

⅓ cup prepared pesto drained of excess oil

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, Romano, or any aged, dried Italian sheep cheese

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon warm water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Blend the olives, feta, and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Have the pesto, grated parmesan, and olivada ready to go in bowls in an assembly line.
  3. Fill the pastry dough: Lay the chilled puff pastry on a floured work surface and gently roll with a rolling pin until the sheet measures about 10 by 16-inches. Cut into 2 (10 by 8-inch) pieces. Work with one piece at a time, putting the second piece back into the refrigerator.
  4. Spread the pesto to cover the entire sheet. Sprinkle with the parmesan. Fold the left and right edges until they meet in the center without overlapping to create a 5 by 8-inch piece with a seam down the center. Fold the two edges again until they meet in the center so that you have a 2½ by 8-inch strip. Fold in half to create a narrow 8-inch roll of pastry (six layers thick). Wrap in wax paper and put it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.
  5. Take the second half sheet of pastry from the refrigerator. Spread with the olive mixture to cover the entire sheet. Repeat folding technique. Wrap in wax paper and chill in freezer.
  6. Remove pesto roll from freezer and trim the ends. Cut into ½-inch slices and lay face up on a cookie sheet.  Repeat with the olivada roll. Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl. Brush each piece lightly with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes, turning once.

Kitchen Tips

  • Work with the pastry while it is firm and cold. Dufour is the Weiser Kitchen’s preferred brand for its buttery flavor and all natural ingredients. You will need two boxes of Dufour for this recipe. It is widely available at Whole Foods stores. Pepperidge Farm is made with vegetable shortening and works very well, too, and is a considerably less expensive option. You will need one box for this recipe. Each brand has different sized sheets so keep in mind that the measurements in this recipe will need to be adjusted a bit to fit your pastry dough.
  • This recipe is truly flexible. There are many other delicious fillings. Try spreading ⅓ cup prepared chicken liver or vegetarian chopped liver over the pastry, or an equal amount of drained sun-dried tomato spread or artichoke pesto. Just make sure to choose spreads that are neither too liquid nor too oily.

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