Saturday, 17 December 2016

Vegetarian Christmas Plait

A tasty & easy to make vegetarian savoury plait, which is packed with a variety of vegetable proteins.  It is delicious served both warm as a main meal with a medley of vegetables or cold in a buffet spread.

Packed with beans, chestnuts, caramalised onions, cheese and cranberries these Vegetarian Christmas Plaits make a delicious meatfree option.

If you're still undecided what to make as a meat free choice for any vegetarian guests which may be visiting this Christmas, how about this meat free Christmas Plait.  Not only does it look inviting, it's also straightforward to make and most important of all it tastes absolutely amazing!

This Vegetarian Christmas Plait consists of delicious buttery, flaky, puff pastry which houses a mixture of good vegetarian proteins:  mixed beans, two cheeses, and chestnuts.  These flavours and textures are supported with the addition of caramelised onions, cranberries and seasoning.  Every mouthful is  different.  In some you will come across the saltiness of the feta cheese, in others there will be the fruitiness of the cranberries.  There are also delicious notes from the caramelised onions and texture courtesy of the beans and chestnuts.  



Vegetarian Christmas Plaits.  Delicious served either warm or cold.

Even though our vegetarian savoury plaits have been created with an individual portion in mind, they can easily be made suitable for buffet finger food by cutting the pastry sheet a little smaller.  Or why not consider creating a large family sized plait which could be presented in the centre of the table to be sliced into and shared.

These Vegetarian Christmas Plaits are delicious both warm and cold.  They can be made fresh or warmed up to be served with a medley of vegetables and potatoes.  Likewise the flavours are robust enough to allow these pastry plaits to be served cold as they are or with chutneys and pickles.

Packed with beans, chestnuts cheese and cranberries these Vegetarian Christmas Plaits make a delicious meatfree option.
    
Regulars to Only Crumbs Remain may be aware of my love of making homemade pastry, but making puff pastry over the Christmas period is definitely a 'no-no', even for me!  Why should the host / hostess be stuck in the kitchen for hours creating delicious food whilst everybody else enjoys a drink, a laugh and a joke, and even a walk during the holidays?  Thankfully shop bought pastry is fabulous quality and reliable, it's certainly the way to go at this time of year!

Vegetarian Pastry Plaits, perfect as a meatfree choice this Christmas

Now, I must apologise at this point.  I had intended to create a short video showing how easy these vegetarian pastry plaits are to assemble, after all a video can so easily capture the process and action so much more effectively than words alone.  But the plan had to be modified and restricted to a sequence of pictures due to our fur baby suffering a significant flair up of a chronic (lifelong) condition, much of my time has been spent pouring TLC over him.



I hope that the images below capture how easy these delicious vegetarian savoury Christmas bakes are to assemble.

How to make savoury vegetarian pastry plaits


These Vegetarian Christmas Plaits, packed with beans, chestnuts, cheese and cranberries were a massive hit for Mr E and myself.  When the acid test question of "Would you have this again?" was put to Mr E, his response was an emphatic nod of the head whilst taking his next mouthful!  I felt the same, and so the main component part of our vegetarian Christmas dinner has now been confirmed!  


Let's get to it and bake.




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Vegetarian Christmas Plait
A tasty and easy to make vegetarian savoury plait, which is packed with a variety of vegetable proteins.  It is delicious served both warm as a main meal with a medley of vegetables or cold in a buffet spread.
Details
Hands on time: 15 - Cook time: about     Yield: 4

Specific Equipment
     1 x large baking tray base lined with greaseproof paper
     1 x pastry brush 
Ingredients
  • 320g pack Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
  • 1/2 200g tin Mixed Salad Beans, rinsed (drained weight)
  • 50g Caramelised Onions
  • 50g Cream Cheese, full fat
  • 50g Prepared Chestnuts, diced (we used Merchants)
  • 30g Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Puree
  • small Pinch of Celery Salt
  • twist of Pepper
  • 50g Feta Cheese, diced
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten, to seal and glaze the pastry

Method
1. Bring the pastry to room temperature. Remove the pastry from the fridge about 20 minutes before using, or as the pastry package suggests.2. Preheat the oven to 220℃ / 200℃ fan / Gas 7.3. Make the filling. Place the drained and rinsed beans into a medium sized bowl. Add the caramelised onions and mix to combine. Add the diced chestnuts and cranberries (separating the cranberries if they're sticking to one another). Mix. Add the cream cheese and mix to combine. Season with garlic, celery salt and a twist of pepper. Add the feta cheese and stir to combine. (No salt should be required due to the saltiness of the feta). 4. Prepare the pastry. Unwrap the pastry. Give a light roll with a rolling pin to bring it to 3 - 4mm thick. Trim the edges of the pastry to neaten if necessary.5. Cut the pastry. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut 4 oblongs measuring about 12cm x 18cm.6. Fill the pastry. Spoon some of the mixture down the centre of the oblong pastry. 7. Cut the pastry ready to plait. Make diagonal cuts into the pastry edges with a sharp knife so that it butts up to the filling. Aim to ensure there are the same number of cuts on each side of the pastry.8. Plait the pastry. Use a pastry brush to apply some egg wash to the cut pastry flaps. Fold the top right pastry flap over the filling, followed by the top left. Continue with the next one on the right and the next on the left. Continue in this manner all the way down the pastry so that the pastry flaps are inter-linked with it's opposite one. Seal the top and bottom ends.9. Glaze. Use the pastry brush to glaze the top of the pastry. 10. Bake. Use a fish slice to carefully transfer the prepared plait to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place into the centre of the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and the underside of the plait is cooked through too (again, use the fish slice to help lift the plait to check the underside).11. Enjoy. Either serve immediately or transfer to a cooling tray and serve cold as part of a buffet, or re-warm to enjoy later.

Notes:
a)  If you prefer, use block puff pastry and roll into an oblong 3 - 4mm thick.  This is a cheaper  option and only takes a couple of minutes extra.  Any off cuts can be sliced into narrow strips and cooked to be used as dipping sticks, for instance.   b)  The filling can be made a day ahead of time to allow the flavours to mingle.  Store it in the fridge covered until ready to be used later.   c)  Avoid overfilling the pastry as it is more likely to result in the pastry splitting open.  d)  It's worth taking the time to ensure the same number of cuts are made to each side of the pastry - this will give a more pleasing appearance to the plait.  e)  The vegetarian plaits could easily be made smaller for buffets or larger to serve as slices, though do consider that the cooking time may need to be adjusted. 










 

 

 

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Packed with beans, chestnuts, caramalised onions, cheese and cranberries these Vegetarian Christmas Plaits make a delicious meatfree option.  They're tastey both warm and cold.




This post has been shared with

Meat Free Mondays hosted by Jacqueline over at Tinned Tomatoes

Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina over at Searching for Spice.

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16 comments:

  1. Gosh your christmas bakes are making me drool on Facebook!!! What a collection of TREATS! Your fudge looks so so delicious, I've always wanted to try make fudge but I know I'd just eat the entire batch!!!!
    Betty x
    The Betty Stamp

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, that is a massive problem, I have the same issue myself! Thankfully friends and family are happy to share it with me! ;-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment Betty,
      Angela x

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  2. This sounds lovely Angela - I have a packet of chestnuts to use up and this sounds like the perfect use for then - yum!

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    1. it really was scrummy Mandy - infact it was a lot tastier than I imagined it would be tbh :-)
      Angela x

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  3. these look so delicious - I tried a plait this year which I loved but it needs more work til I share it so meanwhile am enjoying seeing how you make yours - and your cat is so cute

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    1. I must admit the first one was a little 'scruffy' as I didn't appreciate at first that I needed to get the same number of cuts down the sides of the pastry, but after that fisrt little stumble the second one looked so much more prettier :-) I look forward to seeing your plait when you're happy with it Johanna :-)
      He's a really cutie - a lot of work at times, but non the less a cutie :-)
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  4. You had me with caramelised onions, I love them but everything in the filling sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare and merry Christmas x

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    1. Those caramalised onions seemed to really unite everything in the filling Kirsty, they were really amazing in there.
      Merry Christmas to you too,
      Angela x

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  5. It sounds like a gorgeous Christmas recipe Angela! I love anything made with puff pastry and I definitely agree that at Christmas there's no time to make your own. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

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    1. I'm a huge puff pastry fan too Corina, but Christmas certainly isnt the time to be making it home made (unless there's some stashed in the freezer of course!)
      Thanks for your lovely comment, and for hosting a lovely linky,
      Angela x

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  6. this looks delicious - wishing you a very happy christmas too :)

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    1. Thank you, and a very merry Christmas to you too :-)
      Angela x

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  7. oooh so delicious and what a clever way of plaiting - had no idea how to do that!

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    1. It really was incredibly yummy Rebecca - we'll be having it again over the Christmas period as well :-) I think I've seen people like James Martin plaiting pastry like that - otherwise you could run the risk of it being too thick and bulky.
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  8. Fab idea, Angela. I love how many wonderful Christmassy flavours you've managed to cram in there!! (And of course FETA!!) Totally agree about the puff pastry thing. I am afraid, for me, life is waaay to short to make my own. It's one of the few things I don't make from scratch, but fortunately there are some good ones in the shops...must confess I am rather a bit partial to the all butter varieties!! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

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    1. Haha, I just had to include some feta Eb, like you I just love the stuff and I thought it'd be nice to have pockets of it seen as it doesn't melt as readily as most other cheeses. There really is some very good puff pastry in the shops isn't there - and yes the all butter ones are GOOD! I stay clear of those 'light' ones, they're just not the same in my opinion.
      You're welcome Eb, and thank you to you Kirsty & Mandy, it's a really great linky community :-)
      Angela x

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