Broad bean empanadas with spinach, sheep’s cheese & green sauce recipe image

Print Broad bean empanadas with spinach, sheep’s cheese & green sauce

Empanadas are the lithe Hispanic cousin to our heftier pasty. A quick street-food snack in Spain, Portugal and South America, they are crammed with whatever’s tasty, and deep fried or baked until crisp. We’ve gone for everything that is green and good at the moment. Always return your pastry to the fridge after working with it. It needs to rest, and is always easier to work with when as cold as possible. The raw courgette salad is simplicity itself; you can decide how sharp or mild you make the dressing.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 325g pack puff pastry
  • 400g broad beans
  • 300g baby spinach
  • 100g soft sheep’s cheese
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
  • Olive oil
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 30g parsley
  • 8 large mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 courgette
  • 50g mixed salad leaves
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Dust a flat work surface and rolling pin with a flour and roll the pastry out until 2-3mm thick. Cut out 10 x 15cm circles. Pop the pastry circles back into the fridge while you make the filling.
  2. Remove the broad beans from their pods. Fill a bowl with cold water. Blanch the spinach in the boiling water until just wilted (about 30 seconds). Remove to the cold water with a slotted spoon. When cooled, remove and squeeze as much water as you can from the leaves before roughly chopping them.
  3. Blanch the broad beans in the same boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool in cold water. Take a few minutes to slip the beans from their skins.
  4. Roughly chop the broad beans. Mix together with the spinach, sheep’s cheese and half the lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a little grated nutmeg, to taste.
  5. Preheat your oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Lay the pastry circles out and pop a generous tablespoon of filling on each one. Beat the egg with a dash of water and brush the inside edge of each circle with the egg wash. Fold each circle over gently until the edges meet to form a classic semi-circle pasty shape. Press the edges together and crimp with the tines of a fork to seal. Space them evenly on a baking tray and brush each with the egg wash. Bake them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from the parsley. Roughly chop them together with the mint and capers. Mix with enough olive oil to make a thick pesto-like sauce. Season with salt, pepper and a good dash of lemon juice.
  7. Peel the courgettes into long, thin ribbons with a veg peeler. Dress with a little of the lemon juice and some olive oil. Toss the courgettes with the salad leaves and serve with the warm empanadas and green sauce.
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