Recipe: Toast the New Year with Crispy and Cheesy Red Pesto Pinwheels, your new favorite snack

Recipe: Toast the New Year with Crispy and Cheesy Red Pesto Pinwheels, your new favorite snack

Makes 24

These crunchy and cheesy little snails, somewhere between a pizza and a cheese straw, are made with buttered puff pastry, which is essential for the best taste and crunch. The red pesto that makes up the filling is loosely based on Sicilian-style pesto, and is perfect for the time of year when fresh basil no longer shows up in backyard gardens. The red color comes from sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, roasted red peppers from a jar, mixed with almonds or pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, and lemon juice. Spread the pesto and Parmesan over the puff pastry sheets (thawed in the refrigerator overnight if you bought them frozen), roll them into cylinders, then freeze briefly to make cutting easier. Cut the logs to reveal their pinwheel shapes and bake them until golden. You can bake them earlier in the day and reheat them in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Toast in the new year with what may become your new favorite snack.

    Pesto

    • 2

      Cloves of garlic, cut into slices

    • ½

      A cup of ground almonds or pine nuts

    • 1

      One (8-ounce) can of sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

    • 1

      A large roasted red pepper from a jar, cut into thick slices

    • 10

      Cherry tomatoes, cut in half

    • ¼

      A cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano

    • 1

      A tablespoon of lemon juice

    • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1. In a food processor, grind the garlic until it is finely chopped. Add the almonds or pine nuts and stir until chopped but not finely ground.

  • 2. Remove the tomatoes from the jar with a fork. Add them to the food processor. Do not dispose of the oil in the jar. Add roasted peppers and cherry tomatoes. Pulse again until mixture forms a coarse puree. The pesto should have some texture.

  • 3. Transfer the pesto to a bowl. Stir in cheese and lemon juice. Little by little, stir the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into the pesto until the mixture is consistent and spreadable. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

  • pastries

    • Flour (for rolling)

    • 2

      Buttered sheets of puff pastry (about 1 pound), thawing in the refrigerator overnight if frozen

    • 1

      Beat an egg with a tablespoon of cold water

    • 2

      Two cups of grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1. Set the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Keep a small baking tray handy that can fit in your freezer; Line it with parchment.

  • 2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one sheet of pastry. Roll it into a 12-inch square (if it’s not that size already). Using a pizza cutter or long, sharp knife, cut the sheet in half to form two rectangles each 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

  • 3. Place a rectangle on the work surface so that it is vertical. Spread about 4 tablespoons of pesto over the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on the short side farthest from you. Cover the pesto with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Place the cheese with your hands to press it onto the dough. Brush the exposed side with the egg wash.

  • 4. Starting at the end closest to you, with the end covered in cheese, roll the strip tightly to form a 6-inch cylinder. Press end of dough to seal. Place them on a small baking tray, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rectangles. Place all four cylinders on the baking tray. Freeze for 15 minutes.

  • 5. Cut each cylinder into 6 equal pieces and place on large baking sheets, cut sides up, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of space. (Bake in stages if they don’t all fit into two baking sheets.) Place a piece of parchment on top of each roll and use the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly.

  • 6. Brush it with the egg mixture. Place them in the oven and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the pinwheels are golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sally Basley Vargas

Makes 24

These crunchy and cheesy little snails, somewhere between a pizza and a cheese straw, are made with buttered puff pastry, which is essential for the best taste and crunch. The red pesto that makes up the filling is loosely based on Sicilian-style pesto, and is perfect for the time of year when fresh basil no longer shows up in backyard gardens. The red color comes from sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, roasted red peppers from a jar, mixed with almonds or pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, and lemon juice. Spread the pesto and Parmesan over the puff pastry sheets (thawed in the refrigerator overnight if you bought them frozen), roll them into cylinders, then freeze briefly to make cutting easier. Cut the logs to reveal their pinwheel shapes and bake them until golden. You can bake them earlier in the day and reheat them in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Toast in the new year with what may become your new favorite snack.

Pesto

2 Cloves of garlic, cut into slices
½ A cup of ground almonds or pine nuts
1 One (8-ounce) can of sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 A large roasted red pepper from a jar, cut into thick slices
10 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ A cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 A tablespoon of lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. In a food processor, grind the garlic until it is finely chopped. Add the almonds or pine nuts and stir until chopped but not finely ground.

2. Remove the tomatoes from the jar with a fork. Add them to the food processor. Do not dispose of the oil in the jar. Add roasted peppers and cherry tomatoes. Pulse again until mixture forms a coarse puree. The pesto should have some texture.

3. Transfer the pesto to a bowl. Stir in cheese and lemon juice. Little by little, stir the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into the pesto until the mixture is consistent and spreadable. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

pastries

Flour (for rolling)
2 Buttered sheets of puff pastry (about 1 pound), thawing in the refrigerator overnight if frozen
1 Beat an egg with a tablespoon of cold water
2 Two cups of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Set the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Keep a small baking tray handy that can fit in your freezer; Line it with parchment.

2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one sheet of pastry. Roll it into a 12-inch square (if it’s not that size already). Using a pizza cutter or long, sharp knife, cut the sheet in half to form two rectangles each 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

3. Place a rectangle on the work surface so that it is vertical. Spread about 4 tablespoons of pesto over the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on the short side farthest from you. Cover the pesto with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Place the cheese with your hands to press it onto the dough. Brush the exposed side with the egg wash.

4. Starting at the end closest to you, with the end covered in cheese, roll the strip tightly to form a 6-inch cylinder. Press end of dough to seal. Place them on a small baking tray, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rectangles. Place all four cylinders on the baking tray. Freeze for 15 minutes.

5. Cut each cylinder into 6 equal pieces and place on large baking sheets, cut sides up, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of space. (Bake in stages if they don’t all fit into two baking sheets.) Place a piece of parchment on top of each roll and use the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly.

6. Brush it with the egg mixture. Place them in the oven and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the pinwheels are golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.Sally Basley Vargas

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