Chopped Vegan Brunch Challenge: Butternut Squash Turnovers

Butternut Squash Turnover

Mystery basket ingredients: Butternut Squash, Popcorn, Fresh Rosemary, Apricot Preserves
Full description of challenge here.

Butternut Squash and Pickled Fennel Rosemary Popcorn Turnover with Apricot Vinaigrette 

Butternut Squash Turnover

It has recently become snuggle-up weather here in Portland, Oregon. Foggy when you wake up, steady drizzles of rain during the day, and darkness by dinnertime. I’ve been craving some warming fall comfort food, and this challenge provided the first opportunity of the season to pull the puff pastry out of the freezer. Just coming off a great (albeit not vegan) birthday dinner featuring a turnover served atop a butternut squash puree at Little Bird Bistro, I decided to make a squash and fennel turnover. Pressing crushed rosemary cooked popcorn into the pastry added an unexpected and delightful salty crunch, and the vinaigrette provides a nice balance of sweet and sour. I drizzled it over the turnovers, but you could also use it as a dipping sauce.

  • Heat oven to 425°. Peel butternut squash and dice. Mix with 1 TB oil on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a few cloves of garlic to the pan and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Make rosemary infused oil by cooking ½ cup olive oil and 5 sprigs fresh rosemary in a small pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  • Heat 1/3 cup 50/50 mix peanut oil and rosemary infused oil in dutch oven. Drop 2 kernels in to test temperature, when they pop, remove and add enough kernels to barely cover the bottom of the pan, about ½ cup.
  • Put lid on, leaving about a half inch opening to allow steam to escape.
  • Gently shake as the popcorn pops, remove from heat as popping stops.
  • Transfer to large bowl, toss the popcorn with rosemary oil and sea salt to taste.
  • To make a quick pickled fennel, mix 1 thinly sliced fennel bulb with kosher salt, black pepper, and white wine vinegar.
  • Heat oven to 400° and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss together squash and fennel.
  • Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface. Unfold the puff pastry on top and flatten creases with a rolling pin. Cut puff pastry into squares.
  • Press crushed popcorn into both sides of the pastry.
  • Place two spoonfuls of the filling in the middle of each square. Dampen the edges with soy milk and fold diagonally into a triangle. Press edges with fork to seal and make a vent hole in the top with a knife. Brush each turnover with soy milk.
  • Transfer to the baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • For the apricot vinaigrette, heat 2 tbsp apricot preserves in small pot over medium heat. Stir as it becomes more liquid, then add in 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Remove from heat and mix in 1 tbsp stone ground mustard.
  • Drizzle vinaigrette on turnover.
  • Enjoy!
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3 thoughts on “Chopped Vegan Brunch Challenge: Butternut Squash Turnovers

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