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Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

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August 13, 2014 / Vegetarian Friendly / By
Nicola

Recently I had a happy accident when using up scraps and leftovers which I had in my fridge. To begin with, I just wanted to make something light and healthy (perfect for the summery weather), but what I happened upon ended up being more like a vegetarian sausage roll.

To start with, I had some ready rolled puff pastry sitting in the freezer, left over from when I made a pie a while ago. As it's the middle of summer, I was loathe to make another hot, heavy pie, so decided to see what else I could do with it.

After letting the puff pastry defrost, I laid it out flat, and spread on some passata (puréed, sieved tomatoes). This was very similar to the way you spread a tomato or BBQ sauce on a pizza base.

Next, I rooted through my cupboards to see what else I could find. I'm a big fan of frozen spinach - I didn't even know it existed until a few months ago, but now I find myself putting it in all sorts of meals! You can find it in the frozen vegetable aisle of any supermarket; essentially, it's spinach which has been rolled into balls and then frozen. To cook, pop a few 'spinach balls' into a frying pan and they'll cook just like that.

During my experimentation, I found some of this frozen spinach, so took about six or seven balls and lightly fried it in a small amount of oil with some finely chopped garlic, until it had defrosted completely and cooked thoroughly. I spread this cooked spinach over the top of the smooth layer of passata, so that there was even coverage. Again, it was pretty similar to decorating a pizza.

I finely chopped an onion, lightly fried it in the oil which was leftover from cooking the spinach, and sprinkled this all over the spinach.

Next came cheese. Lighter cheeses work quite well for this - try Feta or Mozzarella, as opposed to your standard Cheddar (although you can use this if it's the only thing you've got). Tear the cheese into rough chunks and scatter them on the top of your puff pastry, passata, spinach and onion. Don't be shy when it comes to cheese; you can never have too much!

These are just the ingredients which I used, as they were leftovers which I already had to hand. However, you can go to town with loads of different combinations! Butternut squash, mushrooms, or even meat would be delicious! The beauty of this is that it can use all the little scraps that you're not sure what else to do with.

Next, I began to roll the flat layer of puff pastry, almost as if I was making Swiss roll. It's very easy to end up with bulky, uneven rolling which falls apart, so I tried to keep it as even and as tight as possible. Going slowly is the only way to do this - rushing is more likely to mess it up!

The next step was to brush the top of the roll with a beaten egg, before cutting it into slices. These should be about the thickness of two or three fingers - just larger than bite size, but not so large that they become too messy to eat!

I placed these individual slices on a baking tray, in the centre of a preheated oven (180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4). I left them to cook for about 20-25 minutes, and I was both surprised and pleased with the results when I removed them from the oven!

I couldn't resist tucking in straight away, but they would be a brilliant, unusual addition to a summer picnic. My family and I ate them as a light summer evening meal, but they're great for lunchboxes, parties, or anywhere where you want something easy, delicious and different. They are just like vegetarian sausage rolls, but if you're entertaining and you add in some mince, you can cater for all your guests!

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Country: United Kingdom

Province/State: Wiltshire

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