Edamame and Artichoke Appetizers
I've just touched down in France! We landed a few hours ago and I'm ready to go to sleep, but before heading to my old childhood bedroom, I wanted to share with you a savory appetizer recipe that was inspired by a North African dessert called chebakia. I grew up in a suburb of Paris and I often enjoyed North African treats after school. This takes me back!
I used store-bought puff pastry and folded it in the same manner as the Moroccan sesame-spiced cookie (chebakia is folded in the shape of a flower, fried and drizzled with honey), then used an edamame and artichoke filling. It might look all fancy but it's very easy and delicious.
Yields: 12 servings1 pound frozen puff pastry dough (store-bought)
½ cup frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed
6 ounces chopped artichoke hearts, thawed
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons curly parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika
¾ cup plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup Pecorino cheese, finely grated
Baking the puff pastry:
Place a silicon mat or a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray.
This next step is optional and purely aesthetic. Cut each puff pastry square into squares (about the size of your palm).
Using a fluted cutter wheel, make 4 even-length cuts to get 5 columns. To shape the chebakia-style appetizer, take clumn 1, 3 and 5 using your middle and ring fingers of one hand, then using your other hand, flip column 2 and 4 inside out to obtain a flower shape. Place on the baking tray. Pinch the outer corner to flatten the appetizer.
Bake for 5 minutes at 375°F; lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 13 minutes. The texture of the puff pastry should be very flaky.
Making the artichoke filling:
Using a cheese cloth, strain out the excess whey of the yogurt for at least 15 minutes (that way the spread will have a lower water content for creamier consistency).
In a small pan, heat the oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Pan-fry until golden and crispy. Turn off the heat. Add the parsley and paprika.
Place the artichoke and edamame in a food processor. Add fresh basil and the fried shallots, garlic and parsley mixture. Season wtih salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Scrape the sides periodically to ensure even texture. Add the yogurt and Pecorino cheese. Manually mix the spread. Chill until ready to serve.
Remove the artichoke filling from the refrigerator ahead of time to bring it back to room temperature. Adjust seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Drizzle with lemon juice. Mix well.
Using 2 teaspoons, gather one portion of the artichoke filling in one spoon. Scrape the loose mixture from the sides using the other spoon and fill in the cavity of each puff pastry.
Sprinkle with parsley.
I usually use store-bought puff pastry dough from a local Middle Eastern market. I have often found that the puff pastry dough sold at local chain stores is made with hydrogenated oils or lard instead of butter. At Middle Eastern markets, it's always made with butter..Published By: on September 12, 2013.