Great for a snack, these vegetarian open empanadas are light on pastry and big on herbs.
- 1 eggplant, cut into 2 cm slices, salted, rinsed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red capsicum, seeded, finely chopped
- 140 ml (½ cup) passata
- 1 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
- 300 g (3 cups) grated mozzarella
- 100 ml thickened cream
- 100 g rocket, roughly chopped
- 40 g (½ cup) grated parmesan
- 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour, sifted
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1½ tbsp milk
- 150 g butter, chilled, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
You will need 2 x 6-hole Texas muffin pans for this recipe. Alternatively, bake in 2 batches.
To make dough, place flour and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk together egg yolks, milk and 60 ml water, then pour into well, stirring until the mixture forms a crumbly, dry dough. Rub in butter, then knead dough in the bowl until firm. Shape into a ball, enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pat eggplant dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, capsicum and eggplant, and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to low and add passata and herbs. Cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are coated in passata. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Combine mozzarella and cream in a bowl. Season and set aside.
Divide pastry into 8 pieces and roll out each piece on a lightly floured work surface until 3mm thick. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease 8 holes of 2 Texas muffin pans, then line moulds with pastry. Divide cheese mixture among pastry moulds, then top with eggplant mixture. Crimp edges of pastry, then bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden.
Place rocket and parmesan in a bowl. Add remaining 1 tbs oil, season with salt and toss gently to combine. Serve empanadas topped with rocket salad.
Photography by Brett Stevens.