A quick and easy appetizer with big flavor!
I know a lot of you are ready for Fall, even looking forward to it. Most years, I’m right there with you. But this year I feel a little jipped. Like Summer passed too quickly and before I know it, the cold winter will be here.
I’ve enjoyed the warm bright sunshine, the t-shirts and flip flops, sipping sangria outside while the sun sets, and the seasonal fruits and vegetables. I always forget how amazing the months of August and September are for fresh produce.
This week a bunch of basil caught my eye, and this recipe was born.
It starts with fresh pesto, and I’m willing to argue that few things smell as fresh and summery as freshly blended pesto.
The pesto straws are very easy to put together, thanks to the frozen puff pastry. After rolling it out a bit the pesto is spread on one half of the dough.
Another sheet of puff pastry is placed on top, and then you slice it thinly into strips.
Twist the strips up, put them on a sheet pan and into the oven they go. Super easy!
You can’t beat something that can go from ingredients to finished product in under thirty minutes. These pesto straws are light and crisp, and would be a great accompaniment to a salad or bowl of spaghetti. Or dip them in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar with cracked black pepper for a tasty appetizer.
I’m telling you, you can’t go wrong.
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- Zest of one half lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 cup pesto (recipe below)
- 1 egg, whisked slightly
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
To make the pesto:
- In a food processor combine all ingredients except the olive oil. Scrape down the sides as necessary. With the machine running, slowly poor in the olive oil. Add more or less than listed according to desired consistency. Add more salt if needed.
- Will keep in the fridge for one week.
To make the pesto straws:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll out one sheet of the puff pastry to about 2 inches larger on each side. Cut lengthwise into two rectangles. Spread about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the pesto onto one half of the puff pastry. You want it to be covered, but don't use to much or the straws won't stay together. Put the other half of the puff pastry on top and pat firmly with your hand to make sure they stick together. Cut into 3/4 inch long strips. Pinch the edges of each strip together.
- Pick up each strip and twist it a few times, then place it on the prepared sheet pan. Very lightly brush each twist with the whisked egg and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack and serve immediately.